Author Archives: Pollu Polglase

Green Traveller productions celebrates 10 years

Congratulations to studio members Green Traveller, celebrating their 10-year anniversary. Founder Richard Hammond looks back at a decade in sustainable travel and tourism below.

It wasn’t that long ago when going green meant either travelling overseas on an expensive conservation safari to Africa or – for the committed few – a weekend of hedge-laying in Wales. Things have changed hugely since those days of niche eco travel.

Nowadays, the concept of sustainable travel is becoming enshrined across most sectors of the industry, from rural B&Bs, city-centre boutique hotels and luxury hideaways to winter sun package holidays and adventure travel worldwide.

This year Green Traveller celebrates its 10th anniversary of producing videos about sustainable travel and tourism. We specialise in telling inspiring stories about people and initiatives that are moving the agenda on, from the pioneers of low carbon transport to the innovators committed to biodiversity conservation and the organisations that are driving local economic empowerment.

It’s been quite a journey: our first films looked at the local green initiatives of B&Bs in the Brecon Beacons. The interest in this early work (and the realisation that it was possible to produce high-quality content without having to commission high-end Soho production agencies) gave us the inspiration to invest in more kit, software and training to position ourselves as the leading film production company for sustainable tourism in the UK.

Over the last decade, we have filmed for a wide range of organisations in both the public and private sectors, from local tourist boards and transport operators (such as Eurostar) to the European Union and international NGOs. One of our most impactful productions was a series ‘Transforming Our Lives’ for the World Travel and Tourism Council, which profiled the lives of people whose lives had been positively transformed by tourism, including a female Masai safari guide in Kenya, an ecotourism guide in Baja California and a pineapple farmer in Saint Lucia. The series was shown on a 22-metre screen at the WTTC’s annual conference in front of the world leaders of the travel and tourism industry.

One of the things we have loved about our work is that we have got to see so much of the UK. Over the past three years, we have filmed the entire length of England’s coast for an initiative funded by England’s national tourist board, and we have also produced Green Traveller’s Guides to many of the UK’s protected areas – its National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Lady’s Slipper Orchid, one of the rarest wildflowers in England. Photographed for Green Traveller’s Guide to Arnside & Silverdale AONB. Photo: Diana Jarvis/Green Traveller

There have been so many highlights, but in particular it’s been great to visit places that are not well known, such as the stunning Durham coastline in the northeast, the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the northwest, and the understated Mendip Hills right here on our doorstep.

Throughout 2020, we have produced a series of promotional videos about West Sussex, as well as a range of digital content for the Great West Way – a 125-mile touring route between London and Bristol on ancient routes through idyllic English countryside. The work involved researching, writing and designing 26 multi-modal itineraries (including 11 trade and 15 consumer itineraries) and supporting online content for themes such as ‘Walking in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’, ‘Fine Food and Drink’, ‘English Gardens’, and ‘Towns Connected by Public Transport’.

The work for the Great West Way was commissioned by Visit Wiltshire using LEADER funding. The aim of the itineraries is to provide an easy-to-follow route in areas that are not heavily signposted, giving people the confidence to travel off the beaten track.

Our most recent campaign, in December 2020, has been with the Spanish Tourist Office to promote sustainable travel in Spain where we produced videos of eco-adventures across 5 regions in Spain.

As for 2021 and beyond, we’re planning to develop our work on interactive films whereby viewers can click on the videos and learn more about the content within the video itself, without having to click out of the video. We think it’s the future for film and so we are planning to invest our time and energy in this evolving technology.

Richard Hammond, Founder, Green Traveller.
Dec 2020.


Featured image: The Mendip Way. Photo: Rhiannon Batten.

10 Year Anniversary for The Virtual Forge

Studio members The Virtual Forge celebrated their 10th anniversary in 2020, and we invited them to share their story with us. Huge congratulations to The Virtual Forge on a brilliant first decade!

Ten years ago Matt Wicks and Garrett Doyle formed The Virtual Forge with the goal of creating a company where people wanted to work, respected each other and created great and beautiful software. They wanted to bridge the gap between design and development and come to a common understanding, creating more cohesively designed and developed products.

The objective was to form a team of bright, creative and inspiring professionals who were keen, able to challenge and were sufficiently enthused by the love of their daily creations, whichever part of the business they joined.

We’re now a global team, spanning 3 continents, with a client base we’re immensely proud of.

The early days …

The Virtual Forge was founded in Bath in October 2010 by Garrett and Matt, but our story begins before then, in a small town in America in 1987 where The XL Group was founded. We acquired The XL Group in 2017 and this is now our Data Centre of Excellence in Philadelphia.

Initially, Virtual Forge was a very small team based in the UK, including our current Head of DevOps, Christian Backlund. This team quickly grew and in subsequent years we opened offices in various locations including India (2013), Portugal (2014) and the USA in 2017 with the acquisition of The XL Group.

The home of our UK operation is Glove Factory Studios, a rural workspace near Bath, alongside offices in London and Warwick.

The bit between the beginning and now is a long story, full of lessons learned, successes and failures. We’re delighted to say there are many more successes than failures, and we’d like to thank everyone who has played an important role in getting us to where we are now.

And now?

We’re a global software company that is immensely proud of the development, UX, data and cloud services we provide our clients. With over 100 people working from the UK to Dubai, to Bratislava, Portugal and the US, Virtual Forge is truly virtual by name and virtual by nature.

In 2020, we’ve proved that the team really can pull together in the midst of huge disruption. So, here’s to the next decades of The Virtual Forge.

We’ll just leave this here with a simple sign-off: whatever comes next, we’re certain it’ll be big.




Words courtesy of Gemma Christie at The Virtual Forge.

COVID-19 Secure Workplace

We are committed to ensuring the safety of our studio members, guests and staff in a COVID-19 Secure environment.

Glove Factory Studios rural location offers easy access and plenty of space for its members to continue running businesses safely from their individual studios.

We’ve carefully reviewed government guidelines and maintain a comprehensive risk assessment. Practical safety measures are in place to ensure our members, staff and visitors can safely access studios, communal areas and outside space.

These include:

  • sanitiser stations at all entry and exit points,
  • increased daily cleaning of communal areas,
  • clear signage in place to support physical distancing and encourage frequent handwashing
  • meeting room and coworking studio safety protocols including spaced seating
  • temporary closure of The Field Kitchen to members of the public
  • workspace viewings available only by pre-booking and carried out with safe physical distancing


Visiting Glove Factory Studios

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or loss of taste and smell, we ask that you do not visit Glove Factory Studios.


Glove Factory Studios Commitment

Keeping our team and studio members safe and healthy is our priority.

  • Our small team work in separate studios to ensure social distancing. They carefully observe COVID-19 Secure operating guidelines.
  • All contractors must provide a COVID-19 Risk Assessment prior to accessing the site and observe guidelines at all times while on-site.
  • All our visitors must complete a COVID-19 health questionnaire prior to their visit
  • All studio members are required to observe government guidance for safe working in offices and restrict access to staff and essential business visitors only.

We regularly review guidance around COVID-19 and closely monitor the latest developments and advice. In the meantime, Glove Factory Studios remains open 24/7 for its members who choose to work safely from their workspaces.

Thank you to our studio members, contractors, suppliers and local community for your resilience, support and good spirit in such difficult and uncertain times.


We build products on the internet!

Head over to my website to explore my development process, discover how to build successful products and find about our my ongoing quest to make cool stuff.


Design Group International is a design and marketing agency with over 35 years experience.

Developing brilliant brands is what makes us tick. Whether launching new brands or transforming existing, we love nothing better than delivering creative, strategically smart solutions that add value to our clients’ businesses.

We believe good design can ’talk’, engaging people and communicating a brand’s unique and appealing story. This is the key to differentiating a product and getting it noticed and purchased. We also help brands communicate effectively via digital media, point of sale, literature, advertising and sales support material.

We have a broad and brilliant range of clients from global giants to entrepreneurial start-ups. From paint to pet food, our experience across a diverse range of categories brings a broad perspective to any brief.

T: 01225 446744
M: 07771 814118


SystemPAK specialises in providing food containers throughout the world.

Our containers are European manufactured high-quality tamper-evident containers.

One of the leading suppliers of Tamper proof containers in the UK since 2016, we guarantee quality and are committed to providing high standards of customer service.

Our highly knowledgable dedicated UK team are on hand to assist you with your every need.

T: 01225 751898

Quick Crepes

Quick Crêpes has been an innovator in the crêpes industry, creating healthy and convenient solutions for over 25 years.

Our instant crêpe mix uses both buckwheat and wheat flours to achieve the traditional flavour and texture of French crêpes but with the ease of an instant dry mix. As well as our catering sizes we are now also offering our award-winning crêpe mix that has been sold in Harrods, Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason in a handy 1kg size.

We are Europe’s market leader representing excellent value and quality for the customer, as well as high gross profit margins for restaurant owner users.

We also offer our exclusive waffle mix, maple syrup and other related products.


T: 07752 879024

Lakes for Level Water

Supporting the Level Water Swim Challenge

Glove Dippers is supporting ‘Lakes for Level Water’ fundraising swim challenge. Over the weekend of 15/16 August, lakes across the UK are inviting swimmers to complete a personal distance or time challenge. Their efforts will raise sponsorship money for bespoke, 1-1 swimming lessons for children with disabilities.

Fancy taking part? Then head over to Level Water to view the full list of participating lakes* across the country. You can also make a donation to the charity directly on the Glove Dippers Level Water Challenge Just Giving page.

Whether you’re a seasoned Glove Dipper, a regular visitor to our fields with your 4-legged friend, or just enjoy relaxing in the sunshine by our lakes, this is a fantastic initiative to support.

Level Water is a national charity working in 90 pools and providing 20,000 lessons to 500 children. Hit hard with the cancellation of 2020 events and pool closures, they’ve teamed up with the amazing Outdoor Swimming Society and created the challenge to give swimmers the opportunity to be part of an incredible challenge as well as giving the charity hope of survival.

* The lake challenge at Glove Factory Studios is restricted to Glove Dippers club members only.

Rural Workspace at Glove Factory Studios

Courtyard Studio Available Soon

Opening directly onto a landscaped courtyard, this 4 – 6 person workspace at Glove Factory Studios also offers plenty of outdoor breakout space too! Available from early autumn, get in touch if you’re looking for an office with an easy commute to Bath and Bristol.

With a polished concrete floor, masses of wall space and a huge window, this 400 sq ft ground floor studio is rurally located while offering all the benefits of an urban workspace – super-fast internet, a managed reception and plenty of free parking and bike racks. 

Glove Factory Studios is home to an award-winning community of start-ups, creative entrepreneurs and independent professionals. Our members include graphic, textile and book designers, AI and fintech brains, hospitality, media and communications companies, sports therapists, photographers, filmmakers and more! When you join, you’ll become part of a thriving network sharing support and inspiration.

It’s just not like this in the city, so if you’re looking to leave behind a slow daily commute to Bristol or Bath, get in touch to find out more about this courtyard space. Glove Factory Studios is a 15-minute car journey from Bath, 40 minutes from Bristol and 10 minutes from picturesque Bradford on Avon. 

Call 01225 784080 to find out more.

Visit Work Rural for details of other workspaces currently available at Glove Factory Studios.

Swimming Lake at Glove Factory Studos

Glove Dippers wild swimming season begins

Glove Dippers wild swimming season 2020/21 begins on 1st June. Come and swim in a private 100m lake with sheep chattering in the nearby fields and stunning Wiltshire sunsets.

You’ll join a thriving, friendly community of open water swimmers, from casual dippers to triathletes. All enjoy the gentle waters, peaceful surrounds and the pure joy of swimming under a vast blue (occasionally grey) sky. Some of them even enjoy cracking the winter ice – it takes all sorts!

Why not swim outdoors every day for less than you’d pay for a single session in a swimming pool? Membership fees this year:

  • Full season membership (Jun 20 – Mar 21 incl): £55
    includes 12 guest swims
  • Summer Membership (Jun – Oct 20 incl): £30
    includes five guest swims
  • Winter Membership (Nov – Mar 21 incl): £30
    includes five guest swims

Located in the fields alongside Glove Factory Studios, the lake water is tested regularly and is consistently rated ‘excellent’.

To join this wild and wonderful private swimming club, head over to the membership and payment page.