Bewl Water Estate Office,
Bewlbridge Lane,
Lamberhurst, Kent,

Delivering quality visitor accommodation for East Sussex and West Kent

Each of the 60 Earth Lodges would enjoy views of the water and surrounding countryside, and has been sensitively-designed to minimise their impact on the landscape and environment.

They would offer modern, well-designed self-catering accommodation with an outdoor and indoor living and dining space, providing flexibility of use throughout the year. Each would include cycle storage a boot room and airing cupboard to ensure visitors can enjoy the outdoor pursuits.

They would accommodate up to 240 visitors and use existing car parking.

Cyclists on bench

Delivering strong environmental performance

The site would be highly energy efficient thanks to the Earth Lodges being sunk into the slope with modern glazed windows to the front aspect.

The wild meadow roofscape to the site improves the insulation and environmental performance. A biomass boiler, using locally sourced fuel from coppiced woodland is being evaluated.

The design allows for the reuse of the earth, removing the need to transport it off site.

Supporting the local economy

With tourism and leisure supporting 11.4% of all jobs in Wealden, this new investment at Bewl Water would help attract more visitors to the area, bringing with them a boost for local businesses and employment.

  • Staying: Latest figures suggest an estimated 455,000 staying trips were spent in Wealden in 2014, of which around 371,000 were made by domestic visitors (82%) and 84,000 by overseas visitors (18%).

Compared to 2013, the volume of domestic overnight trips increased marginally by 0.8% whereas trips made by visitors from overseas increased by 9.1%. Staying trips result in an estimated 1,648,000 visitor nights spent in the district, a growth of 1.1% compared to 2013.

benefits of tourism graphic

Staycations continue to rise in popularity – a record-breaking 7.3 million UK residents holidayed in England in the first quarter of 2016, up 10% on the same period in 2015, according to Visit England.  

  • Visiting: Just over 5.6 million tourism day trips were made to the District – lasting more than three hours and taken on an irregular basis – in 2014, generating an additional £178.5 million in trip expenditure. Compared to 2013, the volume of day trips increased by 0.9% and the value of day trips increased by 1.9%.
  • Spending: Total direct expenditure generated by tourism in Wealden – visiting and staying – in 2014 was £258 million, up by 2.4% compared to 2013.
  • Employing: This tourism-related expenditure is estimated to have supported 5,030 full-time equivalent jobs in the district. Many of these are part-time or seasonal in nature and translate into an estimated 7,076 actual jobs, up 2.5% compared to 2013.

According to the Office of National Statistics, there were 62,000 employee jobs across the district. Based on these estimates, total tourism related expenditure supported 11.4% of these jobs.

Improving Wealden’s visitor accommodation offering

Currently only 10% of visitors to the district stay overnight, many of these are with friends and relatives. The new self-catering accommodation at Bewl Water would enhance the area’s appeal for those looking for a short break destination.

Consistent with Wealden Council

The investment in Earth Lodges at Bewl would support Wealden District Council’s committed to providing high quality leisure and recreational opportunities for residents and visitors to the area through encouraging sustainable tourism.

Supporting local employment and supply chains

The 60 Earth Lodges would provide local employment opportunities and other businesses through the purchase of goods and services. The visitors would also help sustain other tourism and leisure businesses through their spending while visiting Wealden.

Dog walkers in woods