BURFORD’S Visitor Information Centre has won a top environmental tourism award.

The centre has received a green tourism gold award for being eco-friendly in its operations and for encouraging visitors to be green during their stay in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds.

The centre, which is run by West Oxfordshire District Council, was assessed by the Green Tourism Business Scheme, the largest sustainable tourism certification in the world, which has certified more than 2,400 businesses in Britain and Ireland.

Last year the centre, which moved to High Street from Sheep Street three years ago, achieved a silver rating under the scheme and was highly commended in Tourism South East’s Beautiful South awards for sustainable tourism.

Richard Langridge, the council’s cabinet member responsible for tourism, said: “Everything was assessed – from the fabric of the building, our energy usage, visitor feedback, right down to the way we recycle and reuse materials such as ink and paper.

“Above all, I’m very proud of the recognition this award gives to the staff. They are extremely committed to achieving a high standard of sustainability through their everyday activities, as well as through all their promotional work.’’

Staff encourage visitors to leave their car behind to explore the Cotswolds on foot, by bike or using public transport, to buy local products and to take care of the environment while out and about.

Mr Langridge added: “By encouraging visitors to act in an environmentally-friendly way during their stay, we’re helping to safeguard the beautiful environment that we’re so fortunate to live and work in.”