Caring for the Environment

Tracks and Trails is an ‘outstanding Green Travel Company’

At Tracks and Trails we live and work in incredibly beautiful mountain environments. It is integral to our work to ensure this landscape is protected and preserved for future generations. We aim to do what we can to reduce our impact, while increasing your appreciation and understanding of the outdoors.

In 2010 The Guardian newspaper compiled a list of 75 ‘outstanding’ British travel companies who have reduced their impact on the planet. Tracks and Trails Ltd was named as a company where a transparent degree of environmental monitoring was demonstrated. As well as our policy being scrutinised by a panel of tourism experts we were also joined ‘in the field’ by Guardian journalist, Tamsin Osmond. Her article was published in The Guardian, Green Travel Listing as well as online. We assure you that our goals, which impressed the experts in 2010 still stand today with each year seeing us, review and, if possible, enhance our policy.

Our Policy

Tracks and Trails was set up in 2006 by two International Mountain Leaders, a qualification to lead groups of hikers in the mountains. To do this we undergo a lengthy examination process where there is a major emphasis on understanding and protecting the mountain environment. From our very beginnings as guides, right through to managing a growing and vibrant adventure holiday company, we have always strived to care for and protect our outdoor ‘office’.

We aim to promote a greater awareness amongst our clientele with regard to their impact on nature and the mountains and how they can better care for that environment.

While in the mountains

  • We work with small groups to reduce the impact of noise and visual pollution
  • We promote healthy lifestyles and staying active outdoors
  • We require that you do not leave litter of any form, even biodegradable
  • We pick up litter, which has been left by others on the trail
  • We strongly discourage shortcuts, which can cause path erosion
  • We explain why you should not take souvenirs, such as flowers, from nature
  • We ask you not to pollute water sources when answering a ‘call of nature’
  • We discuss why leaving picnic remnants for the wildlife is not in their interest
  • We discourage plastic pollution asking that you take a water bottle which can be used indefinitely

With regard to our trip infrastructure

  • We support communities by using family run hotels whenever possible
  • We use local providers for any extra activities requested by our guests
  • We use the local train and bus networks whenever possible
  • We encourage our guests to ‘share’ transport to our trip meeting points
  • When possible we buy locally produced food for packed lunches
  • We encourage drink/food stops at remote facilities to support the owners
  • We do not 'include' packed lunches in your trip package as we have found there is too much wastage

Environmentally aware trip itineraries

  • We think carefully about our routes and where possible promote ‘less travelled’ trails
  • We ensure our guides understand our Caring for the Environment Policy and promote it
  • Where possible we book accommodation with providers who truly share our love of the environment
  • We promote winter ski journeys, which do not require ‘built’ infrastructure such as ski lifts
  • If we need to include transport we strive to use local buses and trains
  • We use local ‘guest travel cards’ which through taxes put funds back into the community

These are just some of the ways we work to “Leave No Trace” and encourage you to look after the mountain environment. We could continue to list the issues we discuss while hiking with our guests, and the ways in which we encourage you to care for the planet, but it would take a long time!

We have the 'Much Better Adventures' stamp of approval

The adventure sport travel website, Much Better Adventures, following an interview to prove our intentions with regard to the environment have listed us as one of their adventure holiday providers. They work in collaboration with leading names in the sustainability and travel sectors to tackle 3 problems:

  • The time, difficulty and expense faced by small local businesses trying to compete online
  • The difficulties faced by independent adventure seekers wanting to find and book with them
  • The widespread problems of ‘green fatigue’ among both consumers and industry