Gold award for eco evangelists

Linda and Mike Peacock sit on the roof of their eco house. 25_c24goldtourism01

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Unique holiday accommodation buried below a turf roof in a Kintyre hillside has harvested a gold green tourism award.

Former bed and breakfast host Linda Peacock and her IT consultant husband Mike first came up with their eco house concept in 2006 but it took nearly eight years before they were able to welcome the first guests, initially gaining a five-star rating from Visit Scotland.

Linda who ran her B&B for 22 years said: ‘Criteria for the gold award included the building’s insulation, recycling, use of LED lighting, water usage and whether local people were used in the build. To offset people’s travel miles, we make a donation from every stay to the Woodland Trust which spends the money on preserving a piece of ancient Caledonian forest.

‘McFadyens did the groundwork, IK Joiners and Angus Brown were involved in the initial work.

‘In addition, every guest receives a hamper, and while we cannot use Kintyre Champagne, it includes plenty of local produce.

‘Fuel for the wood burner is recycled off- cuts from the sawmill at Auchencorvie.

‘We promote walks which we enjoy and using buses to get into town, the distilleries, golf and visits to the islands, such as Gigha.’

After initial construction hitches Mr Peacock drew the plans. It was when Angus Brown designed and installed the Glulam laminated roof beams that the project took shape.

Mr Peacock said: ‘It was such a leap in the dark. We were advised that people who ran similar properties on the isle of Harris were letting all year round, but we could not see beyond it being seasonal. Now we have bookings for 85 per cent of the year.’

One unusual problem the couple have to watch out for is with the turf roof, and keeping an eye out for bunnies trying to burrow a warm warren.