Staycation with Quilter Cheviot’s Caroline Langley: Birds of prey, dog-friendly cottages and the circular economy

Quilter Cheviot’s investment director shares her break with the family and pooches in Lulworth Cove


Caroline Langley, investment director, Quilter Cheviot

In this special summer series, members of the responsible investment industry share their staycations and sustainable holiday activities with ESG Clarity readers.

Following our popular Working from Home with… and A Sustainable Xmas with… series on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic, we wanted to find out how holiday plans have changed – and become more environmentally and socially friendly – in a year where travel abroad looks challenging.

Here, Quilter Cheviot’s investment director, Caroline Langley shares her staycation in Lulworth Cove.

Where are you holidaying this year and with whom? How will you travel there?

I luckily timed my holiday to coincide with the heatwave in mid-July and went with my husband and two children.  We were also fortunate to have been joined by our children’s nanny for a few days, my mother-in-law for a few days and then my mother for a few days – so everyone was involved. We travelled by car to Lulworth Cove and then went on to a hotel in Hampshire. The cottage in Lulworth Cove wasn’t in reach of any supermarket delivery companies so our car was fully loaded with food supplies as well as the usual clothes, toys and – for the first year – our dachshund Hazel! I wistfully remember my back-packing days travelling light on public transport, but it’s not as easy with a family. Sadly, we cannot yet find an electric car to buy with a big enough boot, but that’s the aim as soon as the technology is ready.

How does this differ from your ‘usual’ holidays?

We always holiday in the UK in the summer, but the novelty this year was there were lots of dogs to consider! Not only had Hazel joined the family early in lockdown, but now both nanny Emily and my mother also now had pups Nora and Stanley. The fact we had booked a dog-friendly cottage was a lifesaver and the hotel was amazing with the dogs too, they had the best time.

It has been a very tough year. How will this holiday help you reset and refresh?

It’s grounding when the big decisions of the day are which locally made ice cream flavour to choose.  My personal favourite was Purbeck’s berries and clotted cream in a waffle cone – delicious!

How will you ensure your holiday is environmentally friendly?

We could walk everywhere in Lulworth with the beach meters from our cottage (passing the ice cream shop on the way of course).  Also, self-catering gives you control of your own supplies so we could source organic and fairtrade provisions; for instance, we brought biodegradable sandwich bags. Of course, we only left our footprints behind, always taking our rubbish back to the accommodation to throw away responsibly, and recycling where possible.

Share some (sustainable) activities you have planned for your staycation?

We hired paddleboards and really enjoyed the mindfulness attempting to stay upright and not getting swept out to sea. In Hampshire, we also enjoyed learning about thrilling birds of prey and seeing the wonderful connection that the birds had with their knowledgeable handler Simon.

What’s your holiday reading?

Wilding by Isabella Tree – the experiment at the Knepp estate in West Sussex using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife so that nature returned is very inspiring.

What’s the verdict? Do you think you will be staycationing more in the future? Or are you looking forward to travelling abroad?

The same dog-friendly cottage is already booked for next year!

How do you think the Covid-19 pandemic will impact business travel long term?

Business travel is definitely on the wane, and we should all try to resist its return as the vast majority is totally unnecessary with today’s technology.

What’s on your radar for the ESG investment industry for the rest of the year?

The circular economy is interesting me a lot at the moment.  As the technology allowing consumers to reuse, reduce and recycle materials continues to improve, the global resource management value chain will provide exciting opportunities for both businesses that are able to harness the power of the circular economy, and investors interested in resource efficiency. Going round in circles is not a bad thing after all – unless you are on a paddle board of course!

You can view the full Staycation series by clicking here.

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