Rachel Parsons – New Forest Escapes

Discover how a Lymington based company used a GetSet Business Growth Grant to make people happier! …

New Forest Escapes is a BCorp certified company helping to reduce travel emissions by providing beautiful UK staycations in the countryside and along the coastline of the New Forest. 

Based in Lymington the team strives to balance profit with purpose and have a ‘Greener & Greater’ Ethos at the forefront of everything they do. From short breaks to grand stays, they use their local knowledge to match holidaymakers to their perfect home-away-from-home, where they can enjoy the nature of the New Forest. 

Rachel Parsons founded New Forest Escapes in 2012 and has steadily grown the business from its humble beginnings to a travel agency with her business partner Jane Wilkinson and a dedicated team of eight people, plus consultants – helping thousands of people holiday in the New Forest in a more sustainable and positive way. 

The company became a BCorp in 2022, and their green mission to deliver social innovation is central to Rachel’s focus. She joined GetSet Solent for support on several special projects.

Picture of Rachel Parsons

“As a BCorp certified company, our goal is to produce profit AND positive impact. Because we’re early movers into sustainability, we are gaining competitive advantage. Whilst we can’t compete on the marketing budget of larger tourism agencies in our sector, we can totally outperform them on higher moral value around positive impact.”

Rachel also successfully applied for the GetSet Business Growth Fund and was awarded 80% towards her growth project. 

“We used the funding to advance our GDP of Happiness Project, a partnership with the University of Cumbria. We want to understand how sustainability really impacts people. In the Census 2022, 74% of adults and 83% of young people said they have climate anxiety. Feeling guilty about damaging the environment while on holiday is rubbish, no-one wants that! So how does greening up houses and holidays make people happier? 

“We also used the funding to increase our homeowners’ profits, and therefore sentiment toward us as suppliers. We knew house cleaners were using a lot of chemicals during holiday changeovers. Accumulatively, it’s a disgusting amount of chemicals to breathe and handle, to flush/wash into the Solent and to throw away as rubbish – hardly any cleaning bottles can be recycled. By supporting homeowners to buy eco, buy in bulk and transition to greener cleaning methods – it reduces their costs, increases the love for everyone and reduces waste. 

“We have another six projects that aim to increase positive impact and reduce negative impact. All of which have benefitted from the GetSet Business Growth Fund. We’re very grateful for the funding and the effort put in by the team to help us make these projects a success.”

Find out more about New Forest Escapes