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Our Land: website champions sustainable holidays in English countryside

Ben Hudson

2nd December, 2011

Forget Lapland - a festive break in the English countryside is just as beautiful. New website Our Land will help you discover sustainable tourism in the Cotswolds, South Downs and New Forest, amongst others

With shops bustling and Xmas garnishings everywhere you look at the moment, Our Land is urging people away from the high streets and back to nature this Christmas period to explore and experience the beautiful landscapes on our doorstep in an environmentally friendly way.

Funded by a £1 million grant from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), Our Land is a new website that promotes sustainable tourism in nine protected regions in the South East. More than one third of the South East is officially classed as Protected Landscape – including two National Parks (Cotswold and New Forest) and seven Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) the Chilterns, High Weald, Isle of Wight, Kent Downs, North Wessex Downs, South Downs and the Surrey Hills.

A lot of these nature spots are such a short train journey from London and many city-dwellers may not realise just how close some are. The Our Land website allows visitors to browse and book holidays based on region or accommodation preferences, and specific itineraries or activities.

Currently there are 121 holidays available on the website. All partners on Our Land must sign 'The Promise' which requires businesses to focus on one or two locally relevant aspects in three sections Environment, Community and Landscape. Additionally, businesses are screened by responsibletravel.com and local field experts working at the South East Protected Landscape Units to ensure that visitors have a positive interaction with the landscapes’ distinctive food, buildings, people, history and wildlife.

Whether you want to stay in a luxury tree house or a sustainable B&B, choose your living Christmas tree or just explore frozen landscapes, Our Land has much more than city escape to offer. You can connect with local experts, historians or conservationists through social media functions of the website, learn about the region and discover something wonderful.

For more information and bookings go to www.our-land.co.uk

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