Mill Farm Eco Barns, which offers environmentally conscious self-catering stays in Winterton-on-Sea, Norfolk, has been named winner of the Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award, sponsored by Swiss Camplings, at the East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024.

The business was established in 2013 after owners Emma and Neil Punchard set about transforming old farm buildings and a barren two-acre site into a wildlife haven that wouldn’t compromise on style or comfort. The first of the three stylish ‘eco’ barns was completed in 2013.

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.

Guests are welcomed with homegrown and homemade goodies and encouraged to engage in low-impact activities and reconnect with nature during their stay. Ideas for sustainable, car-free days out are supplied and staying on site guests can visit the free-range chickens, guest allotment, games barn, wildlife pond and orchard.

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

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

When asked what it means to win the award, Mill Farm owner Emma Punchard said: “It means a huge amount to us. We set the business up 10 years ago and we have worked all the time to make it what it is.”

Neil Punchard added: “We’ve put sustainability and the environment at the heart of everything we do, so it is great to be rewarded for that.”

The other finalists in this category were Holkham and Markshall.

The winners of the East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024 were announced at Snape Maltings, Suffolk on Thursday, February 15. To find out about all of the winners, click here.

For more information about the awards, please visit

About the sponsor

Swiss Camplings is a family-run business offering full linen hire, garment rental and commercial laundry services to the hospitality, educational, and industrial sectors.

Operating within East Anglia, the business can provide everything an organisation needs, including bed linen, towelling, table linen, kitchen goods, chefs wear and industrial and food trade garments.

Through a combination of investment in the latest energy-efficient technology, using the best available solvents and chemicals, and by employing skilled staff, Swiss Camplings aims to provide an unrivalled level of performance and service.