A NEW project is underway at an award-winning pub, promising wood-fired hot tubs, a sauna, cold water plunge pool, and cosy treatments.

The Wild Escapes spa, a low-impact health and wellbeing facility that aims to fit snugly into the landscape, surrounded by lush green foliage, is the latest project for the Riverside Inn at Aymestrey, just over the Shropshire border in Herefordshire.

Chef patron Andy Link said: ”As with any project we embark upon here, the starting point is how can such a development have a positive impact on our local environment.

"We started thinking about this project several years ago, and it has taken this long to come to fruition as we wanted to do things properly. There would have been no point helping people escape from life’s stresses, only to have a negative impact on the wildlife and landscape of our lovely corner of rural Herefordshire.

"With this in mind, we focused on ensuring that the project was truly sustainable, and not just greenwash. We have landed on low level solar lighting for reducing energy consumption and causing minimal disruption to wildlife; recycling hot tub water for garden and orchards’ irrigation systems; using local trade and materials to minimise transport impact; making sure that there is no disruption to existing shrubs, hedges, and trees, and planting another 200 native trees and hedging plants, from hazel to hawthorn, (many having secondary culinary uses in our kitchen).”

Attractive, low-key wellbeing facilities will also broaden the pub’s appeal, adding an extra dimension to the offer of excellent, award-winning food, comfortable overnight accommodation, and a lovely setting on the banks of the river Lugg.

“We believe the Wild Escapes dimension will bring a different set of people here. People who like their creature comforts, but want a peaceful, rural experience that’s at one with nature. The spa will also create more jobs locally, so that is also a very good thing,“ Mr Link said.

The team at the Riverside thanked the Clark Investment Group for continued support in helping them create a sustainable restaurant, hotel, and now spa, and the Rural Enterprise Fund, Herefordshire, funded by the UK Government, for helping the business grow and create more jobs.