BIRDWORLD wildlife park on the A325 between Farnham and Bordon has retained a Gold Award in the Green Tourism Business scheme, the largest and most established sustainable certification programme in the world, for the 10th year running.

The visitor destination, which has retained its gold status since it was first awarded in 2007, was given glowing feedback from the awarding body during a rigorous inspection and commended for the work it carries out with conservation, sustainability and other green practices such as a robust recycling system, composting initiatives and rainwater harvesting.

A Green Tourism Award means that a business works responsibly, ethically and sustainably, contributes to their community, is reducing their impact on the environment and aims to be accessible and inclusive to all visitors and staff.

Businesses that meet the required standard receive a Bronze, Silver or Gold award based on their level of achievement, scores of 80 per cent and over are eligible for Gold accreditation.

To achieve accreditation, Birdworld is graded on-site every two-three years by a qualified assessor against a rigorous set of criteria, covering a range of areas such as energy and water efficiency, waste management, biodiversity and social involvement and communication.

Mark Anderson, general park manager at Birdworld, said: “All our staff work incredibly hard to ensure looking after the environment and supporting vital conservation projects is at the heart of our practices and ethos.

“We were incredibly proud when we first achieved the gold award 10 years ago and we are delighted to have retained it following each of our subsequent assessments. We will be looking at ways we can be even more environmentally friendly in the future.

“Visitors too can help reduce their carbon footprint by arriving on public transport. We are just a short bus ride away from Farnham train station and for anyone arriving by bicycle the park sits right at the edge of the beautiful Alice Holt Forest.”

Lisa Wilson, Green Tourism assessor, said: “Birdworld has done an excellent job retaining its Gold award on the new version five criteria in the Green Tourism Programme.

“With conservation and education at the heart of the business, the park has great interpretation boards and information throughout so visitors can learn about the many wonderful species of birds on site.”