View of Barnhill Rock Garden in summer

Barnhill Rock Garden

Green Tourism Business Award

Green Tourism silver award presentation Green Tourism silver award badge

The Barnhill Rock Garden has been awarded a Green Tourism Business Award at Silver Level and presentation of the Award was made at the Garden.
The Garden had been awaiting grading for 12 months during which time various actions were taken to meet the criteria for this award. The GTBS is the national sustainable tourism certification scheme for the UK. Originally developed in partnership with Visit Scotland, it has been running since 1997 and it is now the only certification scheme validated by Visit Britain, through the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT).
Green Tourism is assessed by a qualified grading advisor against a rigorous set of criteria, covering a range of areas, such as energy and water efficiency, waste management, biodiversity and more. The current network of members is comprised of a wide range of business types, including accommodation providers, visitor attractions, corporate offices and others.

More information is available on the GTBS website at
In 2013 the Silver level  award was confirmed.
Barnhill Rock Garden
Green Policy
At the Barnhill Rock Garden we have taken some simple measures to become more environmentally friendly.

  • We comply with the requirements of environmental legislation and approved codes of practice.
  • We seek continuously to improve our environmental performance.
  • We reduce pollutions, emissions and waste.
  • We liaise with the local community.
  • Wherever possible we source local and fairtrade produce.
  • We provide information to encourage visitors to walk or cycle from Barnhill Rock Garden to nearby Esplanade and Broughty Ferry.
  • We provide resources at Barnhill Rock Garden and on our website, to encourage non-car based and sustainable tourism activities such as walking and cycling.

Responsible Visitor Charter
Be a responsible visitor:  Here are five things that we would like to encourage you to do to help save the planet.

  • Give your car a holiday – leave it at home, if only for a day.  Walk, cycle or use public transport.
  • Shop and Local – use local produce – it gives you a flavour of the area and helps support your local community.
  • Reduce, Re-use, Recycle – try to avoid overly packaged goods and say NO to that extra carrier bag. Recycle any waste that you have.
  • Respect Nature – help us to look after the landscape and wildlife by not littering, by guarding against fire and using footpaths and cycle-ways responsibly.
  • Support Green Tourism Businesses – there are hundreds of businesses trying to reduce their environmental impacts through the Green Tourism Business Scheme.  Businesses are awarded Bronze, Silver and Gold for their efforts to be more environmentally responsible.  See  for more information.

Barnhill Rock Garden Responsible Visitor Charter

Barnhill Rock Garden is a public park of 2 hectares, located along the Esplanade in Broughty Ferry. It is approximately 4 miles from the city centre of Dundee.
The Garden is signposted by brown tourist signs from Dalhousie Road, about 500 metres away.

Access to the Garden
Access to the Garden is free and it is open to the public all year round.
Coach parties are welcome as are tours. The Garden has no access restrictions along the length of the Esplanade, there is also ample parking. Car parks are also located on the south side of the Esplanade not far from either end of the Garden.

The Garden is easily reached by visitors traveling by bicycle and bike racks are situated at the west entrance. The Garden is situated on the following routes:
Dundee Travel Info

• Dundee's Green Circular, Route
• National Cycle Network Route
• North Sea Cycle Route
• Angus Coastal Route - a National Tourist Route.

Public Transport
Access by public transport: Bus Timetable
is by No. 73/A/B, 75, 78C and 79A/C buses, which run along Dalhousie Road and by a limited train service to Balmossie halt both are a short walking distance away.

Access for All
Access for wheelchair users is available to the Garden but limited to the short mown grass area to the front of the Garden, the pavement along the Esplanade, which runs the length of the Garden, and to the Geddes Glasshouse which has one entrance specially adapted. The other buildings on site are not open to the visitors.

Health Walks
Health Walks are organised by Dundee City Council's Access Officer. Walks in Broughty Ferry include visits to Barnhill Rock Garden. The Health Walk Cards can be accessed through Dundee City Councils website or click on the link: Healthcards The packs feature walks all across Dundee and each card has a map and written directions, along with points of interest.

Adjoining Sites
Adjacent to Barnhill Rock Garden, Shiell Street Nature Reserve is a locally designated category "A" wildlife site. It provides an important ecological corridor as well as a continuation of important coastal habitats running along the NE coast.

Located opposite the Garden is the Hourglass Project undertaken by the Broughty Ferry Environmental Project, which won the 2006 Beautiful Scotland in Bloom Biodiversity Award. The project consists of a wildflower meadow, wildlife hedging, making new wildlife habitats, maintenance tasks and interpretation elements.
Next door to this are the Sand Martin Nesting Banks which have proved to be an overwhelming success in attracting Sand Martins back to the area.

Water Management
Rainwater from the roof of the Geddes Glasshouse is collected using a water butt; this water is reused within the garden.

Toilets, with provision for disabled, are located on the east side of the Garden. They are open in the winter from 8am-3pm, and in the summer from 8am-6pm.
The toilets have a flush control which saves on the amount of water used. Within the toilet block, recycled paper products are used, as well as phosphate free soaps and detergents.

Energy Management
There are timers on the lights in the toilets and the fire in the bothy. There is a strip light in the bothy and any replacement bulbs are long life.

Air Quality
For servicing work on site, In accordance with the Dundee City Council transport policy, the Gardener makes use of an electric vehicle gator for servicing work on site in order to reduce the environmental impact, which helps cut down on toxic fumes.

Weed Control
The Gardener constantly monitors the whole Garden for weeds. The beds are always hand weeded and the weeds composted. As the Garden is situated on a dune system the grass will be in stress due to pedestrian footfall so various actions either cultural or in rare circumstances the application of a selective pesticide for amenity turf is carried out if required to maintain the sward.

The Council's own "Discovery" compost, which is peat free, is used within the garden along with the compost made on site.
Plant suppliers are asked to provide details of the makeup of their compost and requested to supply plants grown in peat free compost, where possible.

Waste Minimisation
Recycling and Reusing
All green waste is recycled on site and only litter is removed from the Garden. Woody waste is chipped for use on the pathway. Other green waste is recycled into the Garden's own compost heap. Leaves are collected regularly and made into leaf mould.
The composting site was upgraded and expanded with twelve pallets used as a base. There are recycling bins in the nursery area of the Garden for the use of the Friends group and staff on site. Plant pots are washed and reused.

Local Attractions
Broughty Castle
Broughty Castle sits imposingly at the mouth of the River Tay. Built in 1496 on a rocky promontory, it has faced many sieges and battles.
Broughty Castle
Today it houses fascinating displays on the life and times of Broughty Ferry, its people, the environment and the wildlife that live close by. The Castle has magnificent views over the river and is only minutes away from Broughty Ferry Beach and Esplanade.
It’s a ‘must-see’ attraction if you’re visiting Broughty Ferry, and offers something for everyone, with a changing programme of events, activities and displays.
broughty @

Botanic Garden
Visit the University of Dundee Botanic Garden and enjoy its wide range of plants, with fine collections of conifers and broad-leaved trees and shrubs, tropical and temperate glasshouses, water garden and herb garden. Located in 9.5 hectares of south facing, gently sloping land near the banks of the River Tay, the Garden features many species of indigenous British plants as well as representative collections of important plants from all the continents of the world. Botanic Garden

RRS Discovery
A trip to Discovery Point is an adventure in its own right as audio visual shows, computer-based multimedia and displays of the actual artefacts of the crew transport you to Antarctica.
Climb aboard Captain Scott's ship RRS Discovery where you will follow in the footsteps of him and his crew, see how they lived, what they ate and witness their hardships and their triumphs. It's a fascinating tale of one of the most heroic voyages of exploration ever undertaken. RRS Discovery

Dundee Parks
Dundee’s parks and open spaces are an important asset and make a valuable contribution to quality of life in the city. Dundee has over 1400 hectares of open space covering 28% of the urban area. Dundee Parks

Staying Green
Ways to make your visit greener:

There are lots of ways to make your visit with us more eco-friendly. Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Be responsible when you’re out and about
While you’re having fun in our lovely garden, please respect this special place. Stick to paths and tracks wherever possible. Take your litter away with you. Please don’t disturb or feed our wildlife, damage our shorelines or pick flowers and plants. There’s plenty advice in the Outdoor Access code.

2. Getting your boots on and going for a walk
Walking has a low environmental impact and immense benefits. Broughty Ferry is a long-established coastal resort, and one-time fishing harbour, overlooked by a well-preserved medieval castle. A pleasant walk leads past Barnhill Rock Gardens and on to Monifieth, which lies within Angus Council area. Broughty Ferry beach was recently given the Seaside Award recognising community, access, safety, information and environmental management.

The striking Broughty Castle and Museum, right by the seashore is well worth a visit. Built in the 15th century to protect the estuary, its four floors now house local-history exhibits, covering the story of Broughty Ferry as a fishing village and the history of whaling, as well as details of local geology and wildlife.

Close by Monikie Country Park's many attractions include guided walks, self-led trails, barbecue hire and an adventure play park.
Monikie Country Park

3. Take the time to enjoy your surroundings
Making the time to appreciate all that’s going on all around each day is one of the best investments you can make. It’s well worth checking out the public transport options before deciding to travel by car. Bus timetables

4. Enjoying locally grown and produced food
Broughty Ferry is a pleasant suburb with a good selection of pubs and restaurants. The Woodlands Hotel Restaurant is renowned for its imaginative use of local produce providing original and inspiring menus.
Woodlands Hotel Restaurant

Clementine is the award-winning, local greengrocer. Pop in for fresh fruit and veg with the focus on local and seasonal or soup in a bag with a new recipe every week and a range of gourmet delights from Scotland’s finest producers including cheeses from Iain J Mellis.
Clementines Greengrocer

5. Getting on your bike
You can cover a lot of ground on two wheels, whether you choose to pedal gently along or at a faster pace, there is great cycle ride next to Barnhill Rock Garden on the Green Circular route. It links the city’s parks and places of interest and is a great leisure route.

6. Bike Shops
Spokes: 01382 666644, 272 Perth Road
Nicholson’s Cycles: 01382 461212, 2 Forfar Road, DD4 7AR
Halfords: 01382 834620, Kingsway West, DD3 8QB
Second Cycles: 01382 690317, West Hendersons Wynd, DD1 5BT
MGR Cycles: 01382 539214, 22 High Street, Monifieth, DD5 4AE

We have joined the Green Tourism Business Scheme as an indicator of our sustainable practices and currently have a Green Tourism Business Scheme Silver Award..

Most importantly have a great time when you visit the Garden - we would like you to come back!