Our Green Story

We qualified as  Blue Badge Tourist Guides in London in 2018.

We always loved the city but at the same time we’ve  all  always been drawn to nature.  Ildi and Jill are keen hikers, Jackie has a home with horses and Shetland ponies in the Ardennes .


Ildi took her Hill Moorland Leader course just before the pandemic. She recalls coming back from the Peak District on a train that was almost completely empty.

When the pandemic hit everything fell apart.  All our assignments were cancelled and we couldn’t guide. When we were allowed outdoors again Ildi’s ideas started to take shape.   She was also outdoor first aid qualified and insured for lowland walks so she started to prepare walks outdoors. Ildi and Jill pre-walked the walks and researched routes. It started with Ildi’s London tea walk then venturing further into the countryside.

2020 – 2021-History Hikers Group

The History Hikers group was founded. Ildi started to offer small group outdoor activities, taking the train from London and always making sure that social distancing could be applied . Our hikes always involved a combination of nature and historic sites.

When lockdown ended the History Hikers group continued and started to include internal visits to sites, or small churches along our hikes always donating and encouraging donations. Ildi had no idea at this stage this was technically sustainable tourism. It just felt right.

Participants were always told about the country-side code.

2022 – North Downs Way Ambassador

Then the opportunity came for Ildi to train as a North Downs Way Ambassador. The training covered not only low land navigation but also the flora and fauna of the area. It made a huge difference and we all gradually started to be more conscious about sustainability.

2023 -Wales

In May 2023 Ildi qualified as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide in Wales. Wales was love at first sight. When certificates were presented to by Dafydd Wigley, Ildi was moved by his inspirational speech, emphasising the importance of sustainable tourism.

2023 Qualifications in Sustainable Tourism

In October 2023 Ildi attended a short course called SMART Tourism and Responsible Travel by Nottingham Trent University and Nottingham Business School  and in January 2024 gained the qualification in Sustainable Tourism by GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council) and signed up as a member. Jill has completed a continues development course on sustainability offered by the Association of Professional Tourist Guides and Federation of European Tourist Guides Association.

We started to think about how to apply  sustainability to our tours in a big city such as London, we changed the way the tours were delivered, updated the website and Ildi made changes at home too, monitoring  water and energy usage, changing the products  she used to clean her house and swapping to Bower Collective eco-products.

At the end of January 2024, we gained the Silver Green Tourism Award.

What is yet to come ?

As far as we are aware we are the first Blue Badge Tourist Guides to gain a Green Tourism award and Ildi is the first Blue Badge Guide to qualify in Sustainability in London and Wales.

Ildi is preparing her Hill and Moorland Leader Assessment, attending workshops on geology,  and glaciation  and tackling environmental challenges for a sustainable future. We are starting our tours Cardiff by Rail , offering nature walks combined with history and we all continuously seek to learn more and improve our tours and make them more sustainable.

Ildi Pelikan
Jackie Clare
Ildi Pelikan
History Hikers