Follow VisitScotland

Udderly brilliant

Press release   •   Jan 11, 2019 09:42 GMT

VisitScotland Regional Director Gordon Smith uses the Milk Bot at the Coo Shed with owner Alison Kerr

A pretty plant nursery where you can bottle your own milk from their working dairy farm next door has scored a five-star rating from VisitScotland.

Corton Plants and its café The Coo Shed achieved the national tourism organisation’s top-quality award.

The visitor attraction, which is located at South Corton Farm, Alloway, South Ayrshire, received an “exceptional” score in categories including core experience, hospitality, friendliness, staff efficiency, catering, and cleanliness following a Quality Assurance visit.

Alison Kerr, owner of Corton Plants, said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded this five star accolade. This is a result of lots of hard work by myself, my family and a fantastic team of staff.

“We want every customer who crosses our threshold to have an experience they will remember and share with their friends and this rating will hopefully encourage more people to give us a try.”

Corton Plants was established in 2004 by Alison, and has grown from a single poly-tunnel to a full plant nursery, with seven poly-tunnels housing over 200 plant varieties. The Coo Shed opened its doors in 2017.

Developed over the last four decades in partnership with the tourism industry and informed by visitor research, VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance schemes are world-leading. QA stars alongside online reviews give visitors a balance of objective and subjective views to assist in their decision making and expectations.

As well as achieving a five-star rating, Corton Plants also joined VisitScotland’s Taste Our Best schemes.

The Taste Our Best award scheme – a joint initiative between VisitScotland and the Scottish Government, with support from Scotland Food and Drink - was designed to promote the use of Scottish produce within the tourism industry and recognise businesses that offer great quality Scottish food and drink experiences.

Gordon Smith, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “I am delighted that Corton Plants and the Coo Shed has achieved a five-star Quality Assurance rating. This is a clear sign of Ayrshire’s tourism offering going from strength to strength as it becomes the tenth five-star attraction in the region.

“This award is a testament to all of the hard work and dedication of the staff.

“We need to continue to create world class experiences, events and attractions to keep up with ever-changing visitor demands. Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy and touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change.”

For more information on Quality Assurance scheme visit: www.visitscotland.org

For more information on Corton Plants and The Coo Shed visit: www.cortonplants.co.uk

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com

Scotland’s Themed Years

  • Following an industry consultation, the Themed Years will now take place every second year to enable more time for planning and opportunities for collaboration.
  • 2020 has been designated as a year in which Scotland’s Coasts and Waters will be showcased and celebrated with a programme of activity designed to support the nation’s tourism and events sectors.
  • The year, led by VisitScotland will sustain and build upon the momentum of Scotland’s preceding Themed Years to spotlight, celebrate and promote opportunities to experience and enjoy Scotland’s unrivalled Coasts and Waters, encouraging responsible engagement and participation from the people of Scotland and our visitors.
  • A year-long programme of events, activities and ideas will shine a spotlight on the impact our waters have had on Scotland, from the formation of beautiful natural features to the creation of our national drink – whisky.
  • Join the conversation using #YCW2020
  • 2022 will be the Year of Scotland’s Stories - a celebration of our rich literature, film, oral traditions and myths and legends.