Ards and North Down Borough Council has launched the AND Sustainable Giants – Green Tourism Network which will enable the Council, in partnership with local tourism providers, to promote sustainable tourism within the Borough. The aim of the network is to make a giant difference in the area of green tourism in Ards and North Down by further developing sustainability and green practices within the local industry.

The group comprises of 11 local businesses: Castle Espie, Indie Füde, NI Food Tours, The Walled Garden at Helen’s Bay, Clandeboye Estate, Strangford Lough Activity Centre, SUP Hub NI, Mobile Team Adventure, Princetown Guesthouse, The Salty Dog Hotel and Bistro, and Sustainable Journeys Ireland.

All of the members are committed to sustainability and practice it in their everyday business. Sustainable tourism is growing in importance with more and more eco-minded visitors keen to make responsible choices and the Council-led initiative will allow local tourism businesses to position themselves at the forefront of green practices.

The Council and the group will work together to enhance their own sustainability, create more opportunities and further develop the green offering to visitors. The group will also collaborate to create sustainable experiences, share best practice and promote the Borough as a sustainable tourism destination.

Commenting on the initiative, Lorraine Small from The Walled Garden at Helen’s Bay said: “Sustainability is about working together to think about the impact of our actions and being conscious of the small things we can change or reduce to preserve our environment for future generations. Being part of AND Sustainable Giants will give me the opportunity to collaborate to ensure the best for this beautiful part of the world.

Paul Stewart, Castle Espie Wetland Centre, said: “The natural capital in the Ards and North Down Council area plays a central role in tourism economy here and as a nature conservation charity we are proud to be part of the Council’s AND Sustainable Giants – Green Tourism Network. Environmental sustainability and the sustainability of the tourism economy are interlinked. The umbrella group provides its members with the opportunity to work together, share ideas and develop the suitability credentials of businesses and attractions in the area for the benefit of people and planet.

Sharon Mahaffy, Tourism Manager, Ards and North Down Borough Council commented: “The Council’s Tourism team is delighted to be supporting the Borough’s tourism providers who are leading the way in sustainable tourism. By establishing this network, we are able to facilitate collaboration between network members who have a specific focus on sustainable tourism. We hope that activity such as this will help meet the needs of tourists, the tourism industry and the local community, now and in the future.

Any local tourism providers who are committed to sustainability and would like to join AND Sustainable Giants can email Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Tourism Development Officer, Laura Johnston, at

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Photo Caption: (L-R) Lorraine Small (The Walled Garden at Helen’s Bay), Iain McCarthy (SUPhubNI), Paul Stewart (Castle Espie), Ken Sharp (The Salty Dog Hotel and Bistro) and Laura Bradley (Indie Fude) are pictured in Bangor. Image: Graham Baalham-Curry.