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We're changing

We are creating a new public body, Historic Environment Scotland, which will come into effect from 1 October 2015. While we work on shaping our future we can reassure you that all services and products will continue as normal. We will continue to keep you up to date on developments. Please follow our progress and find out more about our new organisation.

Green Tourism

Wild flowers at castle
Sustainability is at the heart of all that Historic Scotland does.  Within Properties in Care we conserve and maintain monuments across Scotland to ensure they will be enjoyed by future generations.

Please help us in our aims by looking at out Visitor Charter for guidance on responsible visiting.

PDF icon Historic Scotland Visitor Charter [pdf 50KB]

Green Tourism Business Scheme

As part of our commitment to sustainability and green issues most of our staffed sites are assessed under the Green Tourism Business Scheme, the leading sustainable tourism certification scheme in the UK.  This scheme assesses members against a rigorous set of criteria awarding Gold, Silver and Bronze awards as appropriate.  68 of our properties have been assessed under this scheme and we were awarded 37 gold and 31 silver awards.  A list of the Green Tourism Business Reports for Historic Scotland sites that have been assessed is available on our website.

The assessment focuses on a range of areas including waste management, energy usage, procurement and biodiversity.  We undertake sustainable practice where possible across all activities in our estate.  We also encourage visitors to our monuments to use public transport where possible.  Details of routes to our properties can be found on TravelineScotland and for cyclists on Sustrans.  At each of our staffed sites we have green visitor files which are full of useful information to help visitors make the most of the local environment.  Information will range from details of local cycling routes, cycle hire, farmers markets, wildlife factsheets to details of other local Green Tourism Business Scheme members.  If visitors are interested in providing feedback on our environmental efforts we have feedback forms within the green visitor file too.

Policies and Statements

All our properties within the scheme are individually assessed, however there are a number of policies and statements which are true for all our sites.  These are:

Our Catering Policy ensures our caterers work in a manner which minimises the impact on the environment, including, but not limited to:

  • The efficient use of energy;
  • The use of biodegradable cleaning materials;
  • The recycling of waste, including cans, bottles and plastic cups; and
  • The purchase of recycled items, when available.

PDF iconScottish Government: Integrating Sustainable Development into Procurement of Food and Catering Services [pdf, 295kb]

We support the Carrier Bag Charge and all funds from our 5p carrier bags go towards the Historic Scotland Foundation, a charitable fund setup to support the work of HES. For more information see:

Green Tourism Business Scheme

gold and silver Green Tourism Business Awards

Find out more about the scheme