SYHA Hostelling Scotland’s eco youth hostel, Loch Ossian, last night won a UK Water Efficiency Award at the Environment Agency and Waterwise biannual UK Water Efficiency Awards 2012 – Exemplar Project in Scotland category.
The ceremony, held at the House of Lords, is a celebration of the achievements of organisations that ‘shout’ about water efficiency, ‘solve’ water demand management challenges and simply ‘save’ water. The UK-wide awards recognise organisations who are taking responsibility for use of water to benefit society and the economy, as well as to protect our natural environment.
An unique rustic eco youth hostel, Loch Ossian is set high on Rannoch Moor in Highland Perthshire. It offers a true sense of wilderness and can be reached on foot from Corrour Station, Britain’s remotest train station – famed for its appearance in the film, Trainspotting.
The youth hostel operates some of the most up-to-date environmental science, including wind and solar power, grey water and dry toilet systems. It utilises and maintains its own private water supply, powered by renewable wind energy which is harvested on site. The hostel also operates a particle and ultraviolet light filtration system which ensures that the water is safe and of a high-quality for consumption.
The processes of dealing with waste water fully take into account the fragile local environment. As well as maintaining them and educating visitors on their working, the charity has undertaken extensive work to support local wildlife through tree planting.
The youth hostel has additional eco features such as its windows being made of recycled glass, use of natural fibre insulation and, for the hostel’s most elusive visitors, there is special bat-friendly paint.
Keith Legge, SYHA chief executive, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Loch Ossian Youth Hostel has been recognised for its wonderful work. Feedback from our guests reveals that they value our eco-initiatives and the importance of travelling in a way that is sustainable. As a result, more people are discovering that hostelling is friendly and fun as well as being a responsible travel option.”
Jan Robinson, Loch Ossian Youth Hostel manager, who attended the awards ceremony last night, said: “At Loch Ossian we are aware of how precious water is because we are lucky to live close to it. Here, the connection between putting something toxic into that water is very live, perhaps in ways that it is not for people who do not see the immediate effects of the everyday poisons we use to clean our homes.
“An important part of my job is to encourage our visitors to have experience how things can be done differently. Having sighted a wide range of wildlife this year, including osprey and otters, we are happy that the current systems and management of the youth hostel uphold our commitment to the environment and sustainable tourism.”
Contact: Roanna Laverty
Tel: 01786 891400
Notes to Editors
SYHA is an 81 year-old charity which provides youth hostelling accommodation for the education, health and wellbeing of people in Scotland and beyond.
SYHA currently has a network of around 65 youth hostels, including 25 independently-run affiliate hostels.
As a not-for-profit organisation, any income generated from the provision of youth hostelling is invested back into the network of youth hostels in Scotland.
SYHA is open to all and offers free membership to young people under the age of 16 along with those in full time education.
We are part of the Hostelling International Network which offers affordable and accessible opportunities to visit locations in 80 countries across the world.
SYHA hosts on average 500,000 guests annually bringing people to Scotland from all over the world.
VisitScotland estimates that SYHA contributes over £24million pa to the local tourism economy.
The charity’s youth hostels serve most of the country’s most desirable destinations, from key urban locations to breath-taking rural areas, including some of Scotland’s most remote, and enticing, beauty spots.
SYHA Hostelling Scotland is part of the VisitScotland Hostel Quality Assurance Scheme and the largest participant in the Green Tourism Business Scheme in Scotland.