AN Exmoor hotel has become the first business in Porlock Vale to achieve a plastic free approved status.

The Dunkery Beacon Country House Hotel has been given an award by the Plastic Free Porlock Vale group, which is focused on reducing single use plastic and plastic waste, supported by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS).

John Bradley, chef and co-owner of the hotel in Wootton Courtenay, near Dunster, said he is "delighted" with the achievement.

“We’re delighted to announce that we’ve become the first business in Porlock Vale to be awarded plastic free approved status," he said.

“We’re very proud to have achieved this accolade, as it’s not about us, but is for looking after our environment and the beautiful countryside we live in."

To help reduce their plastic waste, the hotel visitors are given fresh milk in thermos flasks, chilled spring water in re-usable glass bottles and are offered homemade biscuits and canisters of loose products like coffee and hot chocolate - instead of sachets and pre-wrapped snacks.

Sauce sachets and plastic straws/stirrers are not used in the restaurant and staff take bags for life when they are shopping and buy loose, fresh produce wherever possible.

For their Gourmet to Go food and drink service, the hotel are using biodegradable takeaway packaging.

Plastic Free status is awarded by SAS. The marine conservation charity works with communities and groups like Plastic Free Porlock Vale to help keep plastic out of water courses and the countryside to protect beaches and marine life.

Ruth Walker, the Wootton Courtenay member of the Plastic Free Porlock Vale Team, said: “We were so impressed with John and Jane’s extensive list of actions to reduce single use plastic, which thoroughly deserved recognition, and we are delighted that the hotel is our first Plastic Free Porlock Vale Business Champion.

“The purpose of ‘Reduce, Reuse, Repair and Recycle in Porlock Vale’ is to help build a resilient community, by bringing people together to work towards the shared goal of reducing waste and protecting our beautiful local environment.

“Our aim is to encourage residents and visitors to reduce single use plastic, reuse and recycle a range of materials, repair domestic items and provide water refill facilities for walkers across the vale.”

The Plastic Free Porlock Vale initiative is being supported by Wootton Courtenay parish council. If you would like to get involved email

Dunkery Beacon Country House re-opens on May 17, and is currently running a weekly hot takeaway food collection service.