The finalists have been named for the Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award, sponsored by Swiss Camplings, at the East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024.

This award recognises tourism businesses committed to being sustainable, responsible and ethical in how they operate and interact with customers, the wider community and the environment.


Holkham is a thriving rural estate on the north Norfolk coastline, covering 25,000 acres and made up of many smaller businesses sharing one vision: to be the UK’s most pioneering and sustainable rural estate.

Holkham Hall, built in the mid-18th century, is a lived-in home for the 8th Earl of Leicester. Day visitors can explore the hall and six-acre walled garden, relax on the beaches, enjoy the programme of events or get active with cycle hire or the ropes course.

Pinewoods Holiday Park, The Victoria Hotel and luxury lodges offer varied holiday accommodation, while Holkham’s land-based businesses encompass farming, Holkham National Nature Reserve, gamekeeping and forestry.

The land and property team manages 300 residential homes and commercial lets.

Each business is driven by Holkham’s vision and five ambitions focusing on custodianship, land management, visitor experience, being a great place to work and being a force for good in the local community.

Sustainability is embedded at the heart of every decision made.

The judges praised Holkham’s “thorough and comprehensive commitment to sustainability”, adding that it is “well defined” in its vision with an “impressive set of management and measurement tools”.

Eastern Daily Press: Markshall is an environmental charity passionate about conservationMarkshall is an environmental charity passionate about conservation (Image: Bryan Shaw)


Markshall is an environmental charity set in the heart of the Essex countryside.

With more than 1,000 years of history, 200-acres of arboretum and gardens split into geographic zones and 5,000 trees from every temperate area, Markshall is passionate about conservation.

The estate is open all year with natural play areas, educational events and a world of trees for visitors to explore.

It works closely with the local community, conservation volunteers and expert employees to ensure that the unique landscape can be enjoyed by future generations.

The Markshall Estate trust was established in 1971, realising the wish of Markshall’s last private owner, Thomas Phillips Price, who wanted the estate to be “for the advancement of agriculture, arboriculture and forestry”.

The charity is run by 24 contracted staff and supported by a team of dedicated volunteers and part-time contracted staff.

Praising Markshall’s “absolute clarity of focus”, the judges said “several new and exciting initiatives, whilst in their infancy, are translating into a better visitor offering”.

They added that “the movement to electronic data capture is facilitating the sharing of knowledge into the wider education faculties”.

Eastern Daily Press: Mill Farm Eco Barns offer environmentally conscious self-catering accommodationMill Farm Eco Barns offer environmentally conscious self-catering accommodation (Image: Tony Hall)

Mill Farm Eco Barns

Located in Winterton-on-Sea on the Norfolk coast, Mill Farm Eco Barns was established in 2013 to offer environmentally conscious self-catering accommodation.

Owners Emma and Neil Punchard embarked on a journey to transform old farm buildings and a barren two-acre site into a wildlife haven for family and guests.

Mill Farm now offers three ‘eco’ barns accommodating two, four and eight guests. The first property was completed in 2013 and the final property, the Grain Barn, completed in 2022.

The barns are heated solely by renewables, including on-site generation, and a conscious effort is made to be single-use plastic-free across the business.

As well as beautiful accommodation, guests can experience the guests’ allotment, free-range chickens, games barn, wildlife pond and orchard.

The judges said Mill Farm Eco Barns “has taken a very considered and community-committed approach to sustainability”, turning that philosophy into education and “leaving a lasting message for guests to focus upon”.

They added that Mill Farm’s “energy and subtle educational messaging is extended into the local community through sharing of ideas and commitment to be part of a bigger story”. 

The winner of the Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award will be announced at the East of England Tourism Awards ceremony at Snape Maltings, Suffolk on Thursday, February 15. For more information, or to purchase tickets for the event, please visit

To see the finalists in all categories, click here.