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Green champions use pedal power to support the cause and raise charity cash

Article Date: 2012-09-24

Three green champions from the hospitality world are using pedal power to highlight their commitment to the cause and putting their fitness to the test to raise money for charity by embarking on The Sustainable Bike Ride. 

On Sunday 7th October, Mark Linehan, Managing Director of The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), Mike Mellor, Managing Director of Space Catering and Andy Cook, Partner at Ease project management, build and design specialists, will hit the saddle for a two day charity bike ride across Cornwall and Devon in aid of two leading charities.  The 200km route takes in some of the most prestigious sustainable venues across the region, from The Scarlet in North Cornwall to the SRA’s Sustainable Restaurant of the Year 2012, ODE-dining in Shaldon, South Devon.

The trio dreamed up the challenge to raise money for Springboard, which helps young, unemployed and disadvantaged young people into careers in hospitality, and for Action Against Hunger, the organisation committed to ending child hunger.  All three are calling on colleagues in the industry as well as friends and family to dig deep and be generous in their support, so they can hit their target of raising at least £5000 for charity.

The aim is also to raise the profile of the various eco venues along the route, which all three have helped make as sustainable as possible either through membership of the SRA or by having their kitchens and buildings designed by Space and Ease to be energy efficient and kinder to the planet, as Mark Linehan from the SRA explains.

"The South West is home to some of the finest and most sustainable food producers and restaurants in the UK, including a number of SRA members, which makes it the perfect place to stage this charity cycle ride. Springboard is a charity with which we have an excellent working relationship and it^s a great privilege to be raising money to support the work it is doing helping young people into work in hospitality."
The route kicks off at The Scarlet in Mawgan Porth, Cornwall’s luxury eco hotel which has won a clutch of awards for its green credentials including the International Hotel Awards - Best Sustainable Hotel in the UK last year – and makes its way to Watergate Bay Hotel, home of the Extreme Academy ‘ski resort on a beach’ and Fifteen Cornwall.  From there, it goes inland to The Eden Project at Bodelva to cycle round the biomes before the long ride to Plymouth to The Royal William Bakery and then onto Salcombe for the night.  New SRA member The Victoria Inn in Salcombe will be a welcome base for the night, offering a chance to refuel and get set for day two.

On the morning of Monday 8th October, Mark, Mike and Andy will catch the ferry from Salcombe to East Portlemouth and visit Gara Rock, where Space and Ease are currently building state-of-the-art facilities for the hotel, spa and restaurant which has breathtaking views of the sea.  The route continues up the Devon coast to Dartmouth Marina and Teignmouth before ending at Tim and Clare Bouget’s award-winning restaurant and café ODE in the village of Shaldon.

As well as visiting some of Cornwall and Devon’s most important sustainable venues, the cyclists will also be collecting donations of organic and locally produced ingredients along the way, such as seaweed from The Scarlet, spices from Eden and mussels from Teignmouth.  There will be bread from The Royal William Bakery, organic vegetables from the local honesty box scheme at Gara Rock and eggs from the chickens kept by The Victoria Inn in Salcombe.  All of this good stuff will be used by Tim Bouget and his team to create a delicious sustainable supper to mark the end of the route.  By selling tickets to the supper, the team hopes to pack out the restaurant and raise even more money for the good causes involved.

"We’re all good friends, having worked together on a number of projects over the years which have a green emphasis, and share the same commitment to making it easier for businesses to achieve their environmental responsibilities,” says Space MD Mike Mellor.  "And we all love cycling, so we thought what better way to highlight the cause by getting on our bikes and doing our bit from behind the handlebars?  I expect there’ll be a bit of friendly rivalry on the way – there could be a green jersey rather than a yellow one up for grabs – but we’ve all got the common goal of raising as much money as we can for two great charities as well as keeping green issues in the limelight.”

That’s a sentiment echoed by Ease’s Andy Cook, who alongside Tim Bouget is supporting Action Against Hunger.  "Setting ourselves this challenge is the ideal way to express some of the principles we have as a business – giving something back whilst we keep green issues high on people’s radar screens.  It’s also great to be riding for such a fantastic charity and fitting that it’s food related, too.  So please do your bit and sponsor us so we can make it a big success,” he adds.

Anyone who wants to sponsor Mark, Mike or Andy can do so quickly and easily by visiting their Just Giving pages:,, and

Fish Friers