Founder of travel bible turns his attentions to Norfolk’s Broads

Thurne MouthPhoto: Bill SmithAugust 2011Broads Authority © 2011

Thurne MouthPhoto: Bill SmithAugust 2011Broads Authority © 2011 - Credit: Broads Authority © 2011

He was the founder of Rough Guides which became the iconic bible for lovers of world travel.

Broads Authority tourism officer Bruce Hanson with the new green guide.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Broads Authority tourism officer Bruce Hanson with the new green guide.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

But after opening up an A to Z of global destinations for the intrepid traveller, from Albania to Zambia, Martin Dunford has returned close to home for his latest venture.

Anglia Afloat photo comp winners. Dawn on Barton Broad.

Anglia Afloat photo comp winners. Dawn on Barton Broad. - Credit: Archant

Mr Dunford, who has a home in Horning, has collaborated with the Broads Authority (BA) to produce A Guide for Green Travellers targeted at Broads holidaymakers.

From next week, the 44-page book, funded by EU cash, will be distributed free through tourist information centres and Broads businesses.

It provides information on green boating with helpful hints on how tourists can safeguard the environment in a range of ways from hiring boats with low wash hulls to observing speed limits and using biodegradable washing products.


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It also tells you all you need to know about exploring the Broads by canoe, bike and on foot.

The guide reveals the secrets of the Broads' rich wildlife, listing 10 'natural places', and gives information on eco-friendly accommodation in 'six sustainable stays'.

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The reader is also introduced to 'six sustainable eats', including the Berney Arms – 'the greenest pub in Britain' – which can only be reached by boat, train or on foot.

The guide ends with information on how to travel to the Broads leaving your car at home.

Mr Dunford, who left Rough Guides in 2009 and now runs a UK travel website, said: 'I first got to know the Broads when I went sailing there as a teenager.

'Since then I have sailed there many times with friends, and eventually bought a property in Horning, where my wife had enjoyed many childhood holidays.

'We spend as much time as we can in the village, and indeed in Norfolk, and love all of the Broads, including the coast at Winterton and Horsey. Having said that, I'm not much of a sailor, and the only boat I have is a Canadian canoe, which, for me, is the perfect family day out. I only wish it was for the rest of my family.'

Mr Dunford, who co-authored the Rough Guide to Norfolk and Suffolk, described the Broads as a 'special place with an atmosphere all of its own'.

He added: 'I'm keen to contribute as much as I can to its life and well-being through writing, publishing and working with partners to help conserve its unique environment.

'My website – www.coolplaces.co.uk – is committed to celebrating and promoting the best of travel all over Britain, nowhere more so than in this part of Norfolk, where there are some fabulous businesses run by passionate local people. I'm excited to be a small part of it.'

Bruce Hanson, the BA's head of tourism, said: 'Martin did some research on the Broads for a section on national parks on the greentraveller.co.uk website. That gave me the idea that there was a lot more that could be done on this and we decided to produce and promote this book.

'Everything in it is justifiably green but not in-your-face green to put you off. Green might not be the first thing you think about when you are on holiday but we wanted to get the message across in a subtle kind of way.'

He said the project, which had so far cost about £20,000 of EU money from a pot reserved for sustainable tourism in estuary parks, would continue by providing a substantial green section on the BA's enjoythebroads.com website.

'One of the points of the book was that we were conscious there was a lot of information on enjoythebroads.com but not anything to convey the real essence of the Broads,' he said. 'It is not intended as a comprehensive guide but to give a flavour of the Broads.'

It would provide inspiration as well as information and would be great to hand out to people at tourism and leisure events and shoes attended by the BA.

The book, which has also had input from journalist Richard Hammond, who runs the green traveller website, will be available in special racks and people will be encouraged to make a donation to the Love the Broads scheme which raises money for projects to improve the Broads for education, conservation and access.

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