Projects supported by new National Forest Sustainable Tourism Grant to help businesses go green

20th Jul 2022

We’re pleased to announce that four successful projects have been awarded grants through our new Sustainable Tourism Grants.

Bug hunting


The grants have been set up to help fund projects aimed at establishing the National Forest as a sustainable destination for people to visit, and to support businesses with their continued recovery from the pandemic and encourage them to invest wisely now to create a greener future for the sector.  

The four successful projects were awarded grants based on how well they met the four guiding principles of the fund – improve and promote access for all visitors to surrounding woodlands and habitats, strengthen visitor connections to the Forest, protect and enhance nature to improve the visitor experience and raise awareness of the National Forest story and our future vision. 

Richard Drakeley, tourism development manager for the NFC, said: “With more families and individuals interested in reconnecting to nature and having gentle outdoor adventures, it is a perfect time for tourism businesses to look at how they can make their business and the activities they offer more sustainable and less carbon heavy.

“We want to help businesses diversify and be able to meet the needs of their customers, many of whom are expecting sustainable options to be on offer.”

The four successful projects, include:

Charnwood Borough Council, who will use the funding to invest in a new Tramper vehicle at the Outwoods, which will make the woodlands and activities more accessible for those who are less able to enjoy the beauty of the woodland. The addition of a new café, events barn, and on-site activities  supported through Charnwood Forest Landscape Partnership Scheme offer many attractive reasons for local people to want to explore the Outwoods.

Cattows Farm Tea Rooms in Heather, Leicestershire have received funding for secure bike racks, so riders are able to enjoy a tea break without the anxiety of bike security, demonstrating that practical solutions can help make sustainable travel more achievable.

The funding will also be used to pilot a short break for families in the National Forest, featured in a new Bradt Guidebook to Slow Family Travel Breaks: Perfect Escapes in Britain’s Special Places. A new short break will be piloted by Leicestershire Promotions in partnership with North West Leicestershire District Council, with the aim of attracting families to a ‘slow family short break’, featuring a number of the outdoors, hands on activities and experiences described within the chapter in the guidebook dedicated to the National Forest. 

Charnwood Forest Wigwams has been funded towards providing an onsite compost toilet for their day visitors. Currently a self-catering timber cabin accommodation provider, they are looking to extend the range of activities they offer onsite and needed facilities to make day experiences wellness activities, forest experiences available to more people. The funding has also helped them to install secure cycle racks for their staying guests, encouraging them to leave the car on site and explore the wider Forest by bike.

To find out more about our sustainable tourism grants and how we are supporting our partners to develop the National Forest as a sustainable destination, see here.