Responsible tourism: Rural vacation villa in Valencia Region, Spain
Since we have been living here we have planted nearly 500 trees and shrubs to encourage the bird life. The birds visiting this garden was virtualy zero, with most birds using this as a fly through to elswhere. By planting as many trees and shrubs as we have, gardening organically the insects have thrived and now we have a large number of permanent birds living within the grounds. These include sparrows, great, blackheaded and long tailed tits, robins and starlings. Frequent summer visitors include swifts, swallows and bee eaters, a regular spring time visitor is the hoopoe. The gardens have also become a haven for many species of butterfly and moths, which are attracted to the many night scented flowers and trees we have planted. Our policy on waste is that we take all glass to the recycle areas in the town, surplus food is fed to our chickens, ducks and turkeys, all other rubbish, paper, plastic, tins ect, is all incinerated, the ashes are then used on the vegetable garden. Much of our water is re used in thewatering system of the garden, whereas all the toilets have a restricted flush system which we encourage our guests to use.
We employ local people as much as possible, cleaners, gardeners on a regular basis and local builders as required. The local taxis are in constant use sometimes, either with airport transfers or taking people around the local towns on sightseeing trips. Our fruit and vegetables, if not from our own garden, all come from locally grown sources, when in season, either from the local market or greengrocers, most of whom have their own fields and orchards. Our guests are all given a tour of the local town and are then encouraged to make regular visits to the town, even if they just have a coffee it all helps the local economy and perpetuates the rural Spanish lifestyle, many people find good bargains in the local clothes or produce shops (especially the local honey and marmalades) and local hand made jewelry is always a surprising popular find. On our sightseeing trips we use the local townhalls to supply the guides for each town we visit. Our qualified guides for walking and mountain biking are members of local clubs, who supply all the equipment, i.e. walking poles and mountain bikes.