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Creating eco-tourist attractions | Our Island's Voice

Creating eco-tourist attractions

Posted by in Our Island's Voice on Feb 3, 2013

Read more about the Stay On Sheppey plan by clicking the above image.

Register by clicking on ‘Add My Voice’ to access this project.


Sheppey already attracts many thousands of visitors to its caravan parks but it doesn’t have much in the way of quality hotel space and with the rise in popularity of the Staycation and eco-holidays, we are well placed to develop a range of attractions to cater for a number of different markets.

We are blessed with a great nature reserve over at Elmley that already attracts around 20,000 people onto The Island each year. They tend to come on and go straight off The Island without stopping to explore and spend money. This is because there is nothing in that area of interest. The ‘Stay On Sheppey’ plan shows how we can capitalise on this opportunity.

It also shows how we can take other great selling points that The Island has and market them in such a way as to attract people with a range of interests.

The plan is to find a number of locations and using established eco-construction techniques, build several eco-holiday complexes with 10-20 self catering eco-chalets and associated services on each site.

Each will be themed based upon the location. They include a sea fishing and boat excursion theme in Queenborough, a watersports complex at Barton’s Point, a hotel built from shipping containers around the Blue Town area, an area for rest and relaxation over at the Leas, one or two complexes over the at Eastchurch, Warden and Leysdown that focus on the rich history and beautiful walks and finally a centre piece at the Elmley Nature Reserve that would serve the visitors who come to The Island to enjoy their birdwatching past time.

There are no guarantees and there is a lot of red tape to cut through but the concepts are sound and we have the materials, the skills and resources to be able to develop these concept.

To read up on this project register by clicking on ‘Add My Voice’ and then go to the ‘Projects’ section.


  1. Feb 9, 2013

    You obviously have not been to Flynns Bee Farm. We have been serving the bird watching community for years, with our home made fayre, in our little tea room, and outside in the gardens. Our site is 18 acres of land, used mostly for the conservation of our native dark honey bees. It is a breeding site for the international charity, Bee Improvement & Bee Breeders Association. It seems that because we are off the beaten track- only 200 yards off the main road, that many locals just drive in by our sign at the top of the road. However, we are highly rated as a tourist attraction on Trip Advisor, and our use of local & organic produce in our tea room has earned us the number one restaurant slot on Trip Advisor. We have been sending our skin creams, health supplements and sweets- all made from produce from our own hives, as well as from other bee keepers, all over the world for 40 years now. We are a small family run farm business, and continue to grow, without becoming too big and impersonal. I’d say, we don’t get enough support from the people on our own doorstep. We rely on tourism from the caravan parks, during the summer season.

    • Feb 9, 2013

      My wife has been a few times and usually brings my folks over when they come to visit us. Unfortunately I haven’t been but I will endeavour to put that right soon. We can all do more to support our local businesses, we spend about £10million per month and most of this heads off The Island. I’ll place a link on our ‘Sheppey Links’ page and look forward to coming over soon.

  2. Feb 16, 2013

    I embrace the idea of self catering eco tourism chalets, eco tourism is very important to our island community and the environment of our world. I would also like to see a Centre Parcs type of tourism centre we already have the lush countryside around us, beaches and a abundance of fresh sea air to add to the mix and with links to many local businesses. The new cycle paths which have opened up the island for people to explore further afield also helps encourages healthy exercise. Flynn Bee Farm, Brambledown Farm Shop providing local produce enhancing a healthy lifestyle is important. In relation to our young people on the island if we also could encourage investment in a ice skating rink, a roller skating rink and also a swimming pool which has diving boards to encourage a healthy lifestyle this would be good to enhance further tourism possibilities on the island and expand growth in local employment. At this point of time the three activities I have just mentioned are only available on the mainland and comes at a cost to travel to enjoy such activities. If these were made available on the island then people from other areas could travel to the island instead and also experience other ammentities which are island based. The success of “Splash” the TV series recently with Olympian medal winner Tom Daley this identifies an opportunity to provide a new healthy activity here, with opportunity to expland with competions and events held as well as with an Ice Skating and Roller Skating Rinks. A Free Running Centre in an old building or an warehouse style building on a brown field site, this an activity which is becoming very popular with our youth. Obviously a feasibilty study would have to be undertaken in relation to these sporting ideas. Rebranding the island as a healthy leisure destination with locally sourced produce as an eco tourism package would enhance the “Made in Sheppey” label.

    • Feb 16, 2013

      Gee, bags of great ideas there. Would a diving centre stand on its own, perhaps with a small aquarobics pool? If so that might be a good use for the old Water Tower in Sheerness.

  3. Mar 2, 2013

    How about the Blue Town Heritage Centre and St. Thomas Church at Harty. There really is so much to see on the Island.

    • Mar 2, 2013

      I’ll be doing a piece on the Blue Town Heritage Centre shortly. It’s a wonderful little time warp. I’ve not been to St. Thomas Church, I’ll have to check that out.

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