Making A Splash

Making A Splash

The overhaul of the swimming pool facilities at Ribby Hall Village was carried out by World Leisure.

The overhaul of the swimming pool facilities at Ribby Hall Village was carried out by World Leisure.

The swimming pool facilities at Ribby Hall Village holiday park in Lancashire have undergone a £1.5million transformation. The pool was refurbished eight years ago but bosses at the attraction decided the time was right for a complete revamp, with added facilities to maintain excitement and interest for visitors.

The work was carried out by World Leisure and the pool now features new slides including a 48m interactive play slide. World Leisure also refurbished the splash pool and added an interactive aqua deck play structure, with tipping buckets and integral slides.

A themed Glass Reinforced Polyester toddlers’ pool links into the splash pool, with a slide and steps to open the pools up to all ages. Mark Leech, Senior Manager at Ribby Hall Village, said: “It is important as a business to continually invest and improve the facilities we offer to our customers. We believe the new interactive slide and new splash pool features will be real talking points that will bring family visitors back again and again.”

Gas Meter Checks

Gas Meter Checks

All gas meters should meet the new Measuring Instruments Directive (MID).

All gas meters should meet the new Measuring Instruments Directive (MID).

Property owners could be liable for prosecution if their gas meters do not meet new safety standards. The Measuring Instruments Directive (MID) replaced the old Ofgem legislation in 2016 and governs the manufacture and accuracy standards for electricity and gas meters in the UK.

The aim of the legislation is to ensure that customers and users are protected by ensuring that all meters comply with safety and accuracy standards. “This is particularly important for property managers as it could mean your existing meters are illegal,” says Chris Smith, Managing Director for Energy Controls – a leading supplier of SMART meters and Pre-payment metering systems. “If so, consumers may have a right to refuse to pay for their electricity and as landlords you could be liable to prosecution.”

You can check the meter itself for an MID stamp of approval or you can ask your supplier to provide an MID certificate. Your meter supplier is legally required to provide supporting evidence that their meters conform to MID standards; if they are unable to do so then it is highly likely your meter does not conform.

Pool Upgrades At Campsie Glen

Pool Upgrades At Campsie Glen

The pool at Campsie Glen Holiday Park has been upgraded for the summer season.

The pool at Campsie Glen Holiday Park has been upgraded for the summer season.

Campsie Glen Holiday Park in Stirlingshire has invested £80,000 into upgrading its outdoor swimming pool facilities. The new development, which launched in April, features an enclosure over the existing outdoor pool, plus the installation of a brand new children’s pool and new changing and toilet facilities.

The new Perspex enclosure, model Endless Summer in Moss Green, is an aluminium and acrylic structure that offers safety by taking away the danger of broken glass, and functionality by sheltering the pool area from cold drafts and making it more weatherproof.

The new children’s pool is a 2.5m x 4m NIVEKO one-piece pool, which was supplied and installed by Eagle Leisure from South Lanarkshire, Scotland. Both swimming pools run on energy efficient air-source heating system contributing to the environment-conserving focus of the park. Bruce Thomson, Operations Manager at Wood Leisure, commented: “We are committed to investing in our parks and facilities to deliver value to the families from Scotland and beyond. This significant investment supports our long-term growth and development plans while benefiting our customers, wider community and Scottish economy.”

Happy Days

Happy Days

An exciting and challenging play area for all ages and abilities gives children somewhere to let off steam and make new friends as well as giving them some independence on holiday. Pic: HAGS.

An exciting and challenging play area for all ages and abilities gives children somewhere to let off steam and make new friends as well as giving them some independence on holiday. Pic: HAGS.

As any holiday park operator will tell you, happy and entertained children mean happy and relaxed parents. An exciting and challenging play area for all ages and abilities gives children somewhere to let off steam and make new friends as well as giving them some independence on holiday. Mike Harris, Director at Warren Farm Holiday Centre in Bream, Somerset invested in new playground facilities last year, designed and supplied by HAGS. He said: “We are known as a child friendly park, and people purposefully book plots near the play areas.

The initial outlay was definitely worthwhile and we have a large number of repeat visitors because of this, as well as many new ones.” “The more attractive, enticing, challenging and fun the outdoor play equipment is, the more likely it will be that visitors to the play area will continue to visit and enjoy all the facilities on offer and it could be the deciding factor on choice of holiday destination,” comments Stuart Wetherell for Wicksteed Playgrounds. Wicksteed was recently commissioned to create an impressive and imaginative playpark at Wilton Lodge Park in Hawick, Scotland. Reflecting the history of the area, a large bespoke timber castle-inspired feature takes pride of place at the centre of the play area. The custom-built castle is adorned with turrets, slides, climbing nets and monkey bars as well as a bridge over a moat and portcullis entrance.

Wicksteed Playgrounds was recently commissioned to create an impressive and imaginative playpark at Wilton Lodge Park in Hawick.

Wicksteed Playgrounds was recently  commissioned to create an  impressive and imaginative playpark at Wilton Lodge Park in Hawick.

The £300k play facility was developed as part of a £3.64m park regeneration project, funded by Scottish Borders Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund. “Local children were involved with creating the designs and ideas for the play area and came up with the idea of incorporating Hawick’s history and scenery into the design. The play park proudly features a castle, river design, horse artwork and a common riding flag as part of the surface design,” commented Gordon Webber, Wilton Lodge Park Events Manager.

RANGE OF FEATURES : The play park features a range of different zones with play equipment suitable for a variety of age groups and abilities. A timber fenced area features sensory sound and visual items as well as a central carved timber totem pole. Wicksteed has become the go to for cleverly designed bespoke playgrounds which can reflect the history of the site or have a theme running throughout. The company has also developed an award-winning range of outdoor gym equipment, the FLZ, which is ideally suited to the holiday park environment and suitable for those aged 14 plus.

“Prices do of course vary depending upon the type of equipment, landscaping and installation but a product from Wicksteed’s Toddlers’ range might start at around £500 with individual, interactive panels from around £590,” explains the Stuart. “An entire playground which could contain multi-play, modular units together with fitness products would obviously require greater funds, so it all depends on the project in question. To achieve a ‘wow’ factor a new green site fully supplied area should have a budget of around £70K.”

World of Rides have served the holiday park industry with a fully comprehensive range of coin-operated leisure rides and equipment for nearly five decades.

World of Rides have served the holiday park industry with a fully comprehensive range of coin-operated leisure rides and equipment for  nearly five decades.

REGULAR CHECKS
Apart from keeping your play equipment and areas regularly checked to meet health and safety standards, there are no guidelines stipulating when a playground requires updating, this is solely down to playground owners. However, updating your equipment regularly to stay ahead of the competition will certainly help attract and retain customers, providing a greater return on investment.
It is recommended that any equipment purchased for unsupervised use is certified as compliant to EN1176 (the European Playground safety standard), this ensures that the equipment is designed and manufactured to a high standard and will provide an exciting and challenging experience while minimising risk.  The safety of children on their playgrounds doesn’t just depend upon the initial design of the area and the selection of equipment within it. Its continued management and the delivery of high quality inspection and maintenance schedules are crucial if the safe opportunities for children to play creatively are to be preserved. Mark Rands, Head of UK Installation and Service at HAGS comments: “We know that a good maintenance regime will significantly extend the life of your equipment and reduce the likelihood of accidents. Regular servicing and replacement of worn out parts is essential to keep your play area safe and compliant.
“Remember it is the responsibility of the owner to keep the play area safe, delaying needed repairs not only shortens the life of the equipment but increases the risk of an accident. The inspection should cover the whole of the site - not just the play equipment. Pathways, fences and seats all need to be checked.”

FIRM FAVOURITES

Fenland Leisure Products’ (FLP) U-Design service is for bespoke projects from small special needs units, access bridges to larger themed multi-play units and fully equipped assault courses. Your project can be based on existing products and tweaked to your specific requirements or wholly new and unique. Bespoke designs are a fantastic group involvement activity. For children, fun is strongly related to play and they have great capacity to extract the fun from it in a spontaneous and inventive way. What a great legacy to build and be a part of. FLP will guide you on the legalities of play equipment design and advise you when it comes to surfacing and fall heights, but the creative ideas are all yours.

Fenland Leisure Products’ (FLP) U-Design service is for bespoke projects from small special needs units, access bridges to larger themed multi-play units and fully equipped assault courses. Your project can be based on existing products and tweaked to your specific requirements or wholly new and unique. Bespoke designs are a fantastic group involvement activity. For children, fun is strongly related to play and they have great capacity to extract the fun from it in a spontaneous and inventive way. What a great legacy to build and be a part of. FLP will guide you on the legalities of play equipment design and advise you when it comes to surfacing and fall heights, but the creative ideas are all yours.

HAGS is a global company with a product offering that stretches over an extensive range of thousands of play products– designed for people of all ages. They have gained over 50 years’ experience in providing both landscaped and traditional outdoor areas. The best-selling UniPlay and UniMini ranges from HAGS offer a vast number of play functions and games within a unique modular system.
HAGS offer a wide range of standard ready-made units for every size and budget, and additionally, all units can be customised by adding special features or games to create your ideal play space.
Liz Townsend, Head of UK Proposals for HAGS says: “Our customers want a play area that is visually striking and attractive – something that immediately captures the imagination of children and becomes memorable so families have a great time and want to return again. The design details are what holds a child’s attention for longer than a few minutes, for example: tower structures are very popular with all ages, even more so when they have interactive games and imaginative activities that can involve all generations.” Liz continues: “At HAGS we focus on a ‘cost per user’ model during the design process, this helps eliminate single user items that can be expensive to own for little return in place of items that offer great play and financial value for users and owners alike.”

“Play facilities are vital in holiday parks, in order to both attract and retain the family spend,” says David Robison of World of Rides. “2017 is going to be a milestone year for the UK’s holiday parks, as Brexit and the fluctuating exchange rates are making more and more families stay at home in the UK for their holidays. However, if operators do not invest in new equipment to entertain their visitors and guests during this exceptional year, then they may not return in future years.” World of Rides have served the holiday park industry with a fully comprehensive range of coin-operated leisure rides and equipment for nearly five decades, ranging from battery rides and static rides to quadricycles and rowing boats. “For the past few years our Go-Karts, Super Hero Trikes and licensed character static rides have been the firm favourites with children, but for 2017 holiday park operators are suddenly asking for our driving school cars and above ground pools with bumper boats, in order to satisfy the demand of their customers for new experiences,” says David.

COMPANY CONTACTS
FENLAND LEISURE PRODUCTS Tel. 01354 638359 www.fenlandleisure.co.uk
HAGS Tel. 0845 260 1655 www.hags-smp.co.uk
WORLD OF RIDES Tel. 0191 49 20 999 www.worldofrides.com
WICKSTEED PLAYGROUNDS Tel. 01536 517028 www.wicksteed.co.uk

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Under New Management

Under New Management

Gary and Tania Smith have been promoted to managers of Stanmore Hall Touring Park in Shropshire.

Stanmore Hall Touring Park in Shropshire has appointed a new management team for the new season. Gary and Tania Smith have been promoted to managers of the Bridgnorth park and will be supported by new assistant managers Nick and Sandra Bellinger.

The Smiths have worked for park owner, Morris Leisure, for five years, having previously served at Oxon Hall Touring and Holiday Home Park, Riverside Touring and Holiday Home Park and Ludlow Touring Park. Before becoming caravan park managers, Tania worked as a chef for 32 years and Gary worked as a landscape gardener for 27 years for Birmingham Council. “We were at that time of life when we both wanted a change of lifestyle,” explains Tania, who has two children and five grandchildren.

“Gary was working nine to five while I was working evenings and weekends and we hardly saw each other” “We now see each other 24-7 and absolutely love being park managers.” Assistant Manager Sandra Bellinger added: “Morris Leisure is a great company to work for and our only regret is that we had not stayed at one of their parks before we started to work for them. It’s definitely something everyone should try.”

New Yorks Park

New Yorks Park

Park Leisure’s new Hawkswick development boasts seven brand new holiday lodges.

Park Leisure’s new Hawkswick development boasts seven brand new holiday lodges.

Park Leisure has unveiled a state-of-the-art new development at its Yorkshire Dales park. The Hawkswick development will boast seven new lodges and is the result of a £1.3m investment at the park. Yorkshire Dales General Manager Mike Clappison said: “The new lodges will be a great and vital asset to our park as it continues to grow and welcome new customers.

“As well as the site’s various family facilities including a children’s playground, Yorkshire Dales is a gateway to some of the best country walking trails, bridal paths and cycling routes in the UK and we’re at the very heart of that.” The news comes just weeks after Park Leisure announced a £103m partnership deal with Midlothian Capital Partners (MCP) as the luxury holiday company embarks on its next phase of expansion.

We’ll Meat Again

We’ll Meat Again

Hollins Farm park manager Daniele Balia with some of the Holstein Friesian cattle which greet holidaymakers

Hollins Farm park manager Daniele Balia with some of the stein Friesian cattle which greet holidaymakers

Hollins Farm Camping and Caravanning Park near Silverdale is offering youngsters the chance to learn about the food cycle. The farm raises traditional breeds of sheep, cows and chickens in its picturesque Lakeland setting, and then supplies the meat to local dining establishments.

“Surveys suggest that many children have a disconnect with farming, and some don’t know that bacon comes from pigs, or eggs are produced by chickens,” said Park Owner Michael Holgate. “That’s why we’re encouraging mums and dads who stay with us to regard Hollins Farm as a place where youngsters can really have their eyes opened. “As well as discovering more about nature and the countryside, youngsters can also make that important connection between farming and the food they eat,” added Michael.

Moving On Up

Moving On Up

At Coast View there is a mixture of accommodation on offer to suit all tastes and budgets, including spacious luxury lodges, modern wooden chalets and static caravans

At Coast View there is a mixture of accommodation on offer to suit all tastes and budgets, including spacious luxury lodges, modern wooden chalets and static caravans.

With a host of extensive improvements completed in 2016 and further plans on the table for the future, Coast View Holiday Park in Devon is going from strength to strength. The park is the flagship site for South West Holiday Parks and is nestled in the hills overlooking the pretty seaside village of Shaldon. Bought by the company in 2012, Josh Donald, and his team, has turned the tired, dated park into a modern site with first class facilities, excellent customer service and strong links with the local community.

“We see an average of 7,000 guests a year and that figure is growing year on year” reveals Josh Donald, Managing Director of South West Holiday Parks. “Moving forwards we hope to see that number rise, especially with the improved infrastructure and facilities in place as well as our new luxury lodges with their boutique hotel feel.” Last year saw the opening of Coast View’s new heated indoor swimming pool, complete with a toddler pool and boasting sea views. The park also launched a new restaurant in 2016 - ODE&CO at Coast View - with celebrated local chef and restaurateur, Tim Bouget. The bright, contemporary Italian restaurant is at the heart of the park and is proving to be a popular addition with guests.

BRIGHT FUTURE : “We have already carried out extensive changes at the park over the last few years, but we aren’t stopping yet. We have plans for more luxury lodges to be created and have already had great interest from potential owners about these,” explains Josh. “To compliment the swimming pool, we plan to add a luxurious spa and beauty rooms as well as a state-of-the-art fitness suite and envisage this being in place by 2018. Our much-awaited Portland Drive development is now open and we are currently working the new phase of lodges.” At Coast View there is a mixture of accommodation on offer to suit all tastes and budgets, including spacious luxury lodges, modern wooden chalets and static caravans. The park is open 365 days a year for holiday home owners and holidaymakers can visit between April 1st and November 1st. This year is shaping up to a busy year for the park, with bookings already up on last year. “We have a range of clientele at the park and everyone is welcome. Our choice of accommodation means there is something for everyone and every budget,” says Josh.

The ODE&CO restaurant offers breakfasts, fresh-baked breads, artisan coffees, lunch and dinner menus that feature fresh pasta, salads, grills, seafood and wood-fired oven pizzas

The ODE&CO restaurant offers breakfasts, fresh-baked breads, artisan coffees, lunch and dinner menus that feature fresh pasta, salads, grills, seafood and wood-fired oven pizzas

Last year saw the opening of Coast View’s new heated indoor swimming pool, complete with a toddler pool.

Last year saw the opening of Coast View’s new heated indoor swimming pool, complete with a toddler pool.

EYE ON THE BALL :  “We also run a number of promotions during the season that are very well received and are perfect for catching that much needed, last minute break.” He adds: “There is no denying that we are facing challenging times as a country and Brexit means many businesses are being cautious. While we are seeing a steady rise in visitors across all of our parks as more people are holidaying on home soil, we are aware we have to keep our eye on the ball at all times.” In terms of local attractions, Coast View is situated next to a golf course and owners receive free membership at Teignmouth Golf Club, which is a short drive from the site.

The city and the moors are all on the doorstep so guests can be as active as they wish. The reception team is on hand with information and suggestions of places to visit and free Wi-Fi throughout the park means guests can easily look up local attractions. Says Josh: “For us, the park can only be a success if our guests are happy. We are a family business and pride ourselves on offering value for money holidays and a first class experience. From the moment they drive into Coast View, to the moment they wave goodbye, we want guests have had a great time and we would love to see them return for another holiday. “We believe our attention to detail, excellent customer service and flexible approach are all deal breakers, but it’s the stunning views across the Jurassic coastline that really put this park on the map.”

Coast View Holiday Park Tel. 01626 818 350 www.southwestholidayparks.co.uk

Lodge Bookings Soar

Lodge Bookings Soar

Outdoor accommodation provider Pitchup.com has reported a 139 per cent growth in lodge bookings since the beginning of the year. Pic: Atlantic Bays Holiday Park.

Outdoor accommodation provider pitchup.com has reported a 139 per cent growth in lodge bookings since the beginning of the year. Pic: Atlantic Bays Holiday Park.

Lodge-style holiday homes have leapt into pole position as Britain’s favourite self-catering accommodation. Outdoor accommodation provider Pitchup.com has reported a 139 per cent growth in lodge bookings since the beginning of the year, equating to a 70 per cent increase year on year. Growth in demand for glamping accommodation options, such as yurts, is up 13 per cent compared with 89 per cent last year.

“This summer is all about lodges,” says Pitchup.com founder, Dan Yates. “We’ve seen a huge growth in lodge bookings for 2017 as they outsell all other types of glamping accommodation in the UK by 38 per cent.” “Families in particular are rediscovering this more traditional style of accommodation, which is enjoying a resurgence as people look for relatively inexpensive accommodation, following the Brexit vote, that is weatherproof and offers all of the comforts of home and more.”

He continued: “Cabins, a more basic form of lodge-style accommodation, have also performed well, up 135 per cent year on year as budget-conscious holidaymakers search for affordable accommodation options.”

Hidden Entrapment Danger Strikes

Hidden Entrapment Danger Strikes

A four-year-old British girl is recovering after being sucked into a spa filter at a hotel complex in Bulgaria.

A four-year-old British girl is recovering after being sucked into a spa filter at a hotel complex in Bulgaria.

Holiday park owners are being urged to show duty of care when it comes to the swimming safety of their guests. Earlier this year, a four-year-old British girl was seriously injured after being sucked into a spa pool filter at a holiday complex in Bulgaria. Thankfully, doctors were able to save the girl’s life and she is now recovering from severe injuries to her bowel and intestines. An incident of this kind is known as ‘entrapment’ and is entirely preventable, and only happens because what appears to be a perfectly safe outlet is, in fact, a potential death trap.

Every year incidents of entrapment – where limbs and other body parts are caught via strong suction from drains at the bottom of either private or public pools – are reported in the media, tragically because the event often results in drowning. But worryingly many incidents are also going un-reported. The Blue Cap Foundation in the Netherlands conducted an investigation into swimming pool entrapment at 100 hotels and aqua parks in popular European holiday destinations. They found at least one hazardous circumstance in every swimming pool that could cause an injury and 31 of the pools were condemned to be dangerous and even life-threatening.

“The problem is that there is nowhere to report this type of incident and most holiday companies are nervous about action been taken against them from over reactions,” comments Craig Valentine, Health & Safety Manager at Bourne Leisure. “I think that there should be a confidential hotline or email address that such incidents and other pool-related issues could be reported without reprisal. In turn this would help stop dangerous incidents happening by using industry best practice with learning outcomes.” Many UK companies have been campaigning to raise awareness of the dangers of entrapment for years. These include Mineral Supplies International (MSI), which has supplied the Vac-Alert anti-entrapment device to UK and European markets since 1996.

Installed on both pools and hot tubs, the Vac-Alert responds within a millisecond to any increase in filter pump suction; spring-loaded pistons open the pipe to atmosphere, freeing a person trapped by life-threatening suction. “Entrapment is a serious issue globally,” comments MSI’s Amanda Slade. “But what’s concerning is that many cases of entrapment are going unreported and are being put down to ‘accidental drowning’. After all, no pool operator wants that type of bad publicity.” Amanda adds: “This is why we have been working with major holiday operators and cruise liners who want to demonstrate that they will put duty of care first every time when it comes to their customers.”