Museum praised for greening up its act

Woodhorn Colliery Museum, Ashington.
Woodhorn Colliery Museum, Ashington.

GOING green has led to going for gold for Ashington’s Woodhorn Museum.

Following a recent inspection, the Northumbrian museum has been given the top accolade of a gold award by the Green Tourism Business Scheme.

The museum, at Queen Elizabeth II Country Park, is one of only four in the region to reach the scheme’s gold standard.

Businesses joining the scheme are assessed against a set of criteria and scored on up to 60 measures dealing with the likes of energy and water efficiency, waste management and biodiversity.

Museum director Keith Merrin said: “Operating in a sustainable, environmentally-responsible way is very important to us.

“Over the last few years, we’ve been working hard to improve our methods and systems to save energy, reduce waste and recycle where we can.

“We also have measures in place to protect and enhance the natural environment, especially at Woodhorn where our buildings are located on the edge of a country park with a thriving population of red squirrels.

“Several useful features were incorporated into the redevelopment at Woodhorn, including rainwater harvesting for the toilets and solar panels for water, but since then other operational systems have been modified to reduce energy use.

“We’ve gradually been changing lightbulbs too, and that’s quite an undertaking at Woodhorn.”

The museum now features a green information board for visitors, uses recycled paper and environmentally-friendly supplies, provides information about the natural environment for visitors, sells locally-made crafts and supports community projects such as Sustrans cycling events.