Kinlochewe Hotel Supporter Spotlight
It’s time for another biosphere supporter spotlight!
As one of the few entirely community-led UNESCO Biospheres in the world, we want to share and celebrate the businesses and organisations that help Wester Ross to thrive.
The Kinlochewe Hotel was built in the 1800s and has a long history of association with mountaineering, situated at the foot of Beinn Eighe. Visitors to the hotel can enjoy the wonders of the Beinn Eighe and Loch Maree Islands National Nature Reserve, one of the core protected areas in the Wester Ross UNESCO Biosphere. The hotel is run today by Karen and David Twist, who signed up to the Biosphere charter for business supporters, because “(we) saw the importance of having to work together to make a better life for everybody…we’ve got to make a difference. It’s such a wonderful area and such wonderful people. Why would you not want to make it an even better place?”
As a locally owned business, it’s important to them that their produce and staff are local too, and they are committed to supporting the local economy. The use of local food is great both for visitors who can enjoy the freshest west Highland produce and experience ‘slow food’, reducing the carbon footprint of the hotel. Indeed some of the fresh produce can be found within walking distance of the hotel, grown at Cromasaig 9 by a local family, alongside breweries and other businesses in the nearby communities of Gairloch and Strathcarron. The Twists are active members of the community and the hotel also provides a social meeting point year round. For Karen, “ It is a business, and of course we’ve got to make some money to pay our staff and suppliers, but you can do that and do good as well”. With a background in teaching, Karen is also a strong believer that sharing good practices among businesses would be of great value and is happy to engage with others.
After a long period of having the place to themselves, the Twists are looking forward to safely welcoming visitors back to the hotel. Karen said, “We need visitors, but it’s also up to us to educate them” and she has a passion for sharing knowledge about the area and contributing to responsible and sustainable tourism.
The Wester Ross UNESCO Biosphere Business supporter scheme is open to all kinds of businesses willing to make a difference towards sustainability in the region. More information about the scheme is available online: https://www.wrb.scot/join-us/biosphere-charter. It’s free to join and you simply need to demonstrate how your business or organisation aligns with the supporting principles.