Triple Gold For Dorset Park Group

Triple Gold For Dorset Park Group

West Dorset Holidays were the big winners of the night at the Dorset Tourism Awards inaugural ceremony. Pic: Nick Williams Photographer.

West Dorset Leisure Holidays pulled off a hat trick of wins at the recent Dorset Tourism Awards.

The family-owned holiday park based in Bridport scooped two gold accolades for its flagship Highlands End holiday park. It took both the Holiday Park of the Year title, and the Sustainable Tourism award.

The icing on the cake came when the group’s managing director Martin Cox was awarded a special honour for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism.

Launched for the first time this year, the awards highlight the many excellent businesses operating across the county as well as promote Dorset itself as a top quality destination. The competition attracted 60 entries, each undergoing a rigorous three-stage judging process including visits by a team of mystery shoppers, and final assessment by an independent judging panel. Finalists came from across the county with hotels, pubs, attractions, festivals, holiday parks and B&Bs amongst the list of winners.

West Dorset Leisure Holidays’ Sustainable Tourism award also follows other honours won for its care for the natural world, including recently the David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level. A host of environmental initiatives at Highlands End have included energy-saving measures and successful moves to protect wildlife with the creation of animal and bird habitats.

The park has also been praised for its links with the local community, and its charity work which includes raising over £36,000 for the Jurassic Coast Trust over the past five years.

Although the cliff-top Highlands End holiday park is no stranger to awards, Mr Cox said he was especially delighted for it to be named as Dorset’s Holiday Park of the Year and that his personal award for outstanding contribution to tourism had come as a complete surprise.

Highlands End, along with other category winners, will now be fast-tracked into the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in January 2014. Success here will then see winners move on to the National Visit England Awards later in 2014.

Stonehenge Campsite Wins Green Award

A camping park near Stonehenge, now a popular spot for pagan weddings, has won a special environmental award from TV botanist David Bellamy.

Stonehenge Campsite Wins Green Award

Stonehenge Campsite, where summer solstice festivals and pagan weddings are among the attractions, is one of Southern England’s greenest places to stay says botanist David Bellamy.
The camping park, which also provides glamping pods, has scooped a top gold accolade in the David Bellamy Conservation Awards to add to its ever-growing list of honours.
Located in Berwick St James, two miles west of the new £28 million Stonehenge visitor centre, the park opened five years ago on part of a nine-acre smallholding of naturally screened pastureland.
A recent report by assessors from David Bellamy’s Conservation Foundation, which administers the award scheme, said the park was a haven for many different types of fauna and flora.
Open all year, the park attracts guests from all over the world, especially during the annual summer solstice festival in June. Two pagan weddings have already been held on the park, and others booked and planned.
Owner William Grant said: “For over a hundred years my family has farmed this area through three generations, and it is a very special part of England both to us and to many other people. I hope we are showing that tourism enterprises such as ours can work in harmony with the natural world whilst bringing significant economic benefits to rural regions.”

One Stop Shop For Lifestyle And Leisure

One Stop Shop For Lifestyle And Leisure

The World of Park & Leisure Homes Show will return once again to the beautiful grounds of Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire in 2014.

Following the tremendous success of this year’s show, the 2014 dates for the diary are: Friday 6th June & Saturday 7th June, 10am till 5pm and Sunday 8th June 10am till 4pm.

There will also be a new trade preview day on Thursday 5th June, from 10am till 5pm. Over 40 show homes will be available to view, plus the opportunity to meet many of the UK’s leading manufacturers and find out more on hundreds of parks across the UK. Leading providers of garages, decking, chassis, coatings, hot tubs, insurance and finance to name but a few, will also be exhibiting at the show.

As always, entrance and parking at the show is free.

More information on exhibiting or visiting the show can be found via www.parkhomeandleisure.co.uk

Hot Stuff From The Kitchen

Hot Stuff From The Kitchen

If you cannot stand the heat – get it out of the kitchen… and turn it into free hot water, advise climate control specialists, Calorex Heat Pumps, of Maldon, Essex.

Calorex manufactures heat pumps for holiday park and mass catering sectors – specialist machines that cool down steamy locations, such as kitchens, by cooling hot air and removing moisture from the atmosphere.

Here comes the clever bit! Instead of just dumping that unwanted heat outside, Calorex heat pumps recycle the energy they remove to provide free energy by heating the water supply.

A win-win situation for restaurants, holiday parks and other catering outlets who not only improve the working environment for staff but also save money by cutting heating costs.

“Kitchen heat pumps are ideal because they not only create a more comfortable working environment in the kitchen itself but also offer the most economic method of producing hot water”, explains Calorex managing director, Richard Carrington.

“Simple air conditioning units offer nothing back in return but, in comparison, heat pumps not only deliver that air conditioning function but offer free hot water and substantial energy-saving bonuses that will quickly match and surpass that initial additional outlay at the outset”.

As a further bonus heat pumps will not only cool air but also remove moisture from humid atmospheres in far greater quantities than traditional air conditioning. A lease purchase scheme is available and this can often work out cheaper than buying a unit outright; repayments can be tailored to equal the monthly energy savings.

For more information contact Calorex
Tel. 01621 856611
Email: sales@calorex. com or visit website www.calorex.com

Plans To Revamp Derelict Camp

Plans To Revamp Derelict Camp

New owners want to create a holiday park at the derelict Atherfield Bay Holiday Camp on the Isle of Wight. Pic: TrevBish Photography

It could be ‘hi-de-hi campers’ for a former 1950’s holiday camp, with fresh plans to breathe new life into the abandoned site.

Developers plan to invest £10 million in Atherfield Bay Holiday Camp on the Isle of Wight to bring it up to date with contemporary holiday homes.

Set in 30 acres of land, the previously thriving camp ceased trading in 2007 and has since become neglected and derelict.

Plans lodged with the Isle of Wight Council seek to replace the existing 160 holiday chalets, the swimming pools and clubhouse with 95 modern, two and three-bedroomed holiday lodges, together with a new clubhouse and restaurant and two new swimming pools.

The holiday camp shot to fame when it was used by Channel 4 as the setting for Wakey Wakey Campers, a four-part reality TV series screened in 2005, which recreated a 1950s holiday camp.

Jake Slack, of Nottingham-based Richmond White Estates, which runs holiday, lodge and residential parks across the country, said they hoped to transform Atherfield into one of their flagship parks.

He said they hoped to start work early next year, subject to planning, and the site would be marketed to a world-wide audience.

Jake added: “We recognise it is a fantastic site and can see the potential there. In the past it has been a tremendous park and we want to recreate that.”

Don’t Slip Up

Don’t Slip Up

Be sure to choose an insurance company that structures cover around your needs.

Be sure to choose an insurance company that structures cover around your needs.

Recent times have highlighted the need for robust insurance protection as climate change brings unprecedented challenges to the UK holiday park sector.
We have not yet witnessed a re-run of the disastrous 1987 storm but we are seeing a rise in the frequency of significant flooding and storms across the country. We have also seen the effects of earlier than anticipated and prolonged winter periods.
Holiday parks offer a unique blend of risks to the insurance market and choosing the right partner can be the difference between success and failure in the event of a catastrophe. Parks are, by their very nature, exposed to the elements, presenting challenges to the insurance market.
Lorica Insurance Brokers specialise in the leisure sector, providing individual solutions for the protection of property, income and legal liability to employees and visitors. Stefan Puttnam, executive director at Lorica explains: “When considering risks to a holiday park we tend to concentrate on the core facilities and what would happen were they to suffer loss but, just as important, is the interdependent relationship between this and the guest accommodation whether it be holiday homes, chalets, lodges or caravans. Losing one will impact on the viability of the other ultimately leading to lost revenue.”
He adds: “There are many complex and supposedly sophisticated ways to arrange cover but the simple fact is that nothing beats a straightforward conversation based around ‘what if’ scenarios. Every business is different, so when it comes to insurance, it’s not a case of one size fits all.”

MIND THE PITFALLS

Coast Insurance stress that insurance doesn’t just protect against small accidents, losses or theft, but it could save a huge financial bill in the event of something beyond control.

Coast Insurance stress that insurance doesn’t just protect against small accidents, losses or theft, but it could save a huge financial bill in the event of something beyond control.

Stefan urges holiday park owners to insist upon your insurance advisor not accepting any policy warranties or conditions precedent to liability within the contracts of the insurance they arrange for you. These restrictions are particularly dangerous as they will require you to do, or not to do certain things. Failure to comply can result in policy cancellation or refusal to pay a claim despite the fact that the breach may bear no relevance to the claim itself. They should be avoided at all costs.
Basic level cover falls under the banner of Increased Costs of Working, which merely provides protection for additional expenditure reasonably and necessarily incurred after a loss. However, park owners should be made aware that there will be no cover to meet lost revenues.
Stefan says: “Like anything, there needs to be a balance between peace of mind and the level of premium you are able to expend.
“My advice is to firstly explore your unique exposures before considering the costs. Rash decisions based merely on premium costs could cripple your business. Understand the exposure, establish the cover needed, define the mitigating factors and let your broker sell it to the insurance market rather than the other way around.”
Insurance policies generally contain an overarching requirement for holiday park owners to disclose all material facts to an insurer. Failure to do so can ultimately render the cover void. Whilst it is unlikely to be able to negotiate removal, it is possible to water down the requirement so that in the event of an innocent non-disclosure of a material fact, it will not render the cover void and insurers will meet the claim subject to park owners paying an additional premium.
When taking out insurance, Stefan advises holiday park owners to consider less obvious scenarios – “What would happen if your guests were unable to gain access to their brand new holiday home due to an incident outside the park? What would happen if there were an outbreak of a notifiable human disease?
Ultimately you know your business best, align this to the specialist support of an insurance broker who understands the holiday park sector to put you at the front of the queue to not only survive a catastrophe but thrive where others may not.”

Company Contacts

Lorica Insurance Brokers
Tel. 0844 573 7691
www.loricainsurance.com

Coast Insurance
Tel. +44 (0)1892 784059
www.coastinsurance.co.uk

Wilby Ltd
Tel. +44 (0)1422 358525
www.wilbyltd.co.uk

To read more on this story please subscribe to Holiday Park Scene online today.