The Leisuredays team can make your
customer insurance “easy peasy”!
For any parks who administer insurance on site, it can be quite
a timely and costly challenge. To
take the pressure off parks, the
100+ team at Leisuredays handles
all aspects of a customer’s policy
- managing renewals, claims and mid term changes. Talk to the team about how to free up a huge amount of your time and maintain healthy levels of insurance income.
The Conservation Foundation was greatly saddened to announce the death of Professor David Bellamy OBE, its co-founder and President in December. A passionate friend to the holiday park industry, he put his name to The David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme -- one of the longest running green tourism awards in the UK. The idea behind the awards has been to celebrate what the best parks are doing for the British countryside and to encourage others to follow their lead. One of the first comments David made about the scheme remains true today: “My dream is to upgrade all caravan parks up to some sort of conservation status so that they can educate the visiting public and help them respect and care for the countryside. “Help the environment and choose a park that has one of my awards,” he urged as he continued to work in close partnership with the British Holiday & Home Parks Association. Last year, 570 holiday parks received a David Bellamy Conservation Award for the work they’ve done to protect and enhance Britain’s natural environment. From the creation of new wildlife meadows and woodlands to the construction of solar-powered shower blocks and energy efficient lodges made out of recycled plastic, the variety of work being done by these parks is outstanding. The parks that take part in the scheme are all regularly assessed by the scheme’s team of local wildlife experts. The assessors look at the steps parks are taking to:
• Manage their land as a haven for wildlife
• Reduce their use of energy, water and other resources
• Reduce, reuse and recycle the waste they produce
• Support their local communities.
The idea of the scheme was first sown when David Bellamy gave a talk to members of the camping, caravanning and holiday home park industry in which he gave the audience members a challenge to be part of the environmental solution and not part of the problem. David, who was 86 when he died, was then invited to visit many parks and was amazed at the wide range of work that the most forward-thinking owners were doing for the environment as mini nature reserves. Known for his distinctive gravelly voice, the botanist and broadcaster was a larger-than-life character who inspired a whole generation. He became a household name, as a scientist and conservationist and will continue to inspire the holiday park industry in his name.
Underlining its reputation as one of the leading holiday park shows in Europe, this month’s Holiday Park Innovation aims to attract over 4,000 key decision makers in the industry to the NEC for its unmissable annual gathering. For added appeal, the event from November 6 to 7 inclusive, reinforces its recipe for success by running other rural shows alongside, including the Farm Business Innovation Show, Family Attraction Expo, and our launch show, the Leisure Food and Beverage Expo. The Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show is dedicated to providing the country’s most ambitious holiday park and resort owners and managers with the best advice, services, and products to make their holiday business stand out from the rest. With 400 exhibitors and 170 seminars dedicated to the industry, it’s the perfect opportunity to create the idyllic getaway for your customers. Learn the latest industry knowledge and gain insight into the newest innovations and technology currently available. If the exhibitors themselves were not enough to pack your visit, over the two days, the organisers offer a tempting seminar programme backed by insightful speakers.
Take some time to visit the Keynote theatre from 11 am to 4 pm. On both days speakers will be covering topics as broad as Post-Brexit Tourism, Maximising the Natural Environment, and Busting Outdoor Accommodation Myths while Hoseasons’ Shelley D’Arcy discusses the benefits of using land for the holiday market. Three other theatres offer stand-out presentations from 11 am to 4 pm daily covering subjects as varied as holiday hot tubs, playground design, to water conservation. Look out for Vicky Parr, from Visit England, discussing ways of boosting your business for holiday makers in the UK while Dave Courteen of Mosaic Spa and Health Clubs will outline How to Create a Profitable On-Site Leisure. So what are you waiting for? Register for your free tickets via the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation show website with your chance to see the show first hand.
As the main media partner to the event, Holiday Park Scene is a B2B print and on-line magazine for the holiday park sector, earning itself a reputation as an essential read for anyone involved in holiday park management. Packed with fresh ideas and essential reading for anyone who runs or works in a holiday park the magazine is available on-line at www.holidayparkscene.com Holiday Park Scene offers the inside track on the latest market news and reports covering all aspects of holiday park management. Most importantly, Holiday Park Scene provides you with a targeted platform to promote your products and services across all areas of the UK and Eire holiday park sector. If you would like to get involved with this exciting publication, please don`t hesitate to visit the team at the show or make direct contact now, to help us understand how to make you stand out from the crowd.
British Holiday & Home Parks Association Tel. 01452 526911 Web. bhhpa.org.uk
Compass are specialist insurance providers to the holiday and residential parks industry and operate in a unique alliance with BH&HPA. Our park business policy rolls covers together to keep things simple and can protect everything from your park’s liabilities, buildings, infrastructure, facilities, machinery, employees and members of the public to your own home and its contents. We also help parks sell or introduce our carefully-designed private owners’ cover, because we know that a customer’s loss can impact on your business. For a free, no-obligation insurance health check, contact us today – we’re here to help!
What was your career path into the industry? After leaving school, I worked in the financial sector for HBOS (now Lloyds Banking Group). I worked for the group in various departments from International Payments to Treasury in the big smoke. I was working in the marketing department when an opportunity to join Leisuredays came up. And 14 years on I’ve never looked back!
How has the market changed during your time in the industry? The changes I’ve witnessed have been for the better. The customer product has greatly improved, which in turn provides insurance companies/brokers with a better risk. Holiday parks are open longer and have much more to offer, with a wide range of facilities and activities. Conversely insurance has become much more heavily regulated, meaning parks need our help more than ever to stay compliant.
How do you predict things will change in the next five to 10 years? I can see more online and digital engagement between parks and their customers and also between us and our policyholders. We’ll use technology to make it ever easier and quicker for customers to obtain the cover and make a claim.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your working life? Work vs life balance is my biggest challenge. Trying to keep my wife and the kids happy whilst travelling around the country to support my team and our parks. But I’m privileged to have a great team of Business Development Managers and a flexible boss (and wife)!
What is the best piece of business advice you have been given and by whom? The best piece of advice that’s stuck with me is from one of my first mangers. And that’s to be honest and don’t be frightened to make mistakes. If you’re not making mistakes you’re not learning or improving!
What do you most like to spend your time out of working hours? In my spare time I’m an Academy football coach with FC Halifax Town. Both my boys are big into football and this covers any hours I have free. It is a great way to wind down after a day on the road.
If we could give you three guests? Who would like most like to sit down to dinner with and why? It’s hard to just choose three but in no particular order: David Beckham – Because he was a very successful footballer, dad, business man and all round decent guy. Dynamo the magician - I just love magic! Plus, he’s a good Yorkshire lad and would be guaranteed to keep you entertained. Dr Steve Peters – I’ve read a few of his books now and think he’d be very interesting to have as a guest to bounce thoughts and theories off.
Do you have any claims to fame? At one of the first Soccer Aids, I gave Maradona a high five when passing him in the corridor on his way out of the stadium.
Where do you prefer to take your holidays? We often visit Tenerife, however, my two boys love a week away in a holiday caravan or lodge and it’s those holidays they talk most about to friends and family. There are some fantastic holiday parks and locations in the UK, but the ones with a pool, football pitch and a bar will always be most attractive for a young family like mine!
Wish You Were Here - Oyster Bay Coastal & Country Retreat
Oyster Bay Coastal and Country Retreat, is one of Cornwall’s best-kept secrets and the only 5-Star, owners’only holiday park. You’ll find Oyster Bay set in the beautiful Cornish countryside, just a stone’s throw from the stunning, famous sands of Perranporth. Oyster Bay’s brand-new development – Penpol Creek – boasts 23 spectacular holiday homes. Imagine a mixture of extraordinary lodges, immaculately furnished. We’re talking contemporary, well-equipped kitchens, spacious open-plan living spaces and private sun terraces with unbeatable views of the Cornwall’s rolling countryside. Set in its own private gated community, there’s no better place to soak up the scenery – what’s more, it’s open all year round with a 12-month season. Unwind at the park’s exclusive facilities, including its indoor leisure complex – why not go for a calming dip in the pool, followed by a chilled drink on the decked terrace? At the end of a busy day, enjoy a short stroll to Oyster Bay’s very own pub and restaurant, The New Inn. They’ve laid on some delicious seasonal dishes to sample with your owner discount – and why not join in with the exclusive monthly wine club? Other benefits for owners include a chauffeur service and a calendar of special events. Oh, and don’t even contemplate leaving your loved four-legged friends behind, either – Oyster Bay is completely pet-friendly. At Oyster Bay, dedicated watersports instructors are available to help guests make the most of the surfing, paddle boarding and windsurfing opportunities available nearby. You can make full use of the putting green, the tennis courts or get out and about to explore the endless, stunning countryside with complimentary electric bike hire. Nothing has been missed in the quest to create a spectacular sanctuary all year round. Oyster Bay is the perfect home from home with everything required for endless holidays and lasting memories.
SALTEX 2019 will feature over 300 exhibitors including some of the biggest names in groundscare. The two-day event will offer visitors a unique opportunity to experience the very latest industry trends and innovations, enhance their education and learn from industry experts. The exhibition is the longest-standing event of its kind in the world, having been held almost every year since 1938, and the show is continually evolving with the people of the industry in mind. This year the show floor will be bursting with everything a visitor needs to increase their efficiency and improve operations – and attendees can expect features such as: • NEW! Eco Village – live demonstrations purely dedicated to environmentally-friendly products. • Learning LIVE - SALTEX’s world-class free educational programme. • Pathology and Soil Science LIVE – a look in detail at the symptoms of turfgrass fungal disease problems. • SALTEX Innovation Award – celebrating the very best in new groundscare technology. • Ask the Expert - free face-to-face turfcare advice. • Outdoor Demonstrations – the latest products in action in an area directly outside halls 6,7 and 8. • SALTEX College Cup - land based colleges compete in an academic test of turf management knowledge. • Lawn Care Legends LIVE – a fantastic networking opportunity for landscapers and gardeners. • Job Clinic – free one-to-one sessions covering CV writing to interview techniques. Registration is accessible through the SALTEX website and visitors can simply bring their email confirmation (on a phone or a printed copy to the registration desk) which will be located at the show entrance.
The LANDSCAPE Show is back again for 2019 and is already developing into their most exciting show yet. The leading trade event is dedicated to bringing together an array of industry professionals from all over the UK and beyond, including garden designers, landscape architects and contractors. Two days full of CPD accredited seminars enhances professional qualifications of practitioners and allows visitors to earn up to 11 CPD points with their attendance of sessions. This year’s show will host 44 seminars with leading members of the landscaping industry. With each seminar offering its own unique topic, there is definitely something for everyone! Alongside the exhibition and seminars, The LANDSCAPE Show aims to inspire and entertain their visitors with a variety of events. This includes the return of the Pecha Kucha 20x20; an exciting event that derives from the Japanese term ‘chit-chat’. This discussion will be presented in a simple format, where the industry’s most creative and professional Landscape Architects will be presenting 20 images for 20 seconds each. Additionally, they are also looking forward to bringing back the Best in Show competition, where exhibitors will be showcasing a particular product from their innovative ranges to introduce to visitors. It’s down to visitors to decide the Best in Show winner of 2019 so make sure you register to attend online so you can have your vote! The LANDSCAPE Show will be open from 10am-6pm on Tuesday the 17th September, and 10am-5pm on Wednesday 18th September 2019 Both the exhibition and all seminar sessions are free to attend, simply register online!
Running a restaurant alongside a holiday park can be a huge undertaking, involving some big decisions… and not just with the menu, writes Karen Cotton. Catering to a wide range of budgets and tastes can create challenges for operators – particularly when you’re looking after diverse needs and expectations on the same site, from campers in tents to guests in luxury holiday lodges It’s an issue they recognise at the award-winning Tyddyn Isaf Camping and Caravan Park in Dulas, Anglesey. “Our guests expectations vary a lot,” explains Hayley Mount-Leonard, who looks after front of house. “While our campers are looking for the little extras to enjoy with their barbecues, holiday home owners are typically looking for a higher quality of food,” Hayley continues. “We’ve found that the key is to ensure the quality of our food is as high as possible,” she continues. The Anglesey campsite has been owned and operated by the Hunt/Mount family for 45 years. Long before a restaurant was created on site, however, food was still on offer, thanks to a very forward-thinking purchase. “About 40 years ago, we invested in a pizza oven and it all grew from there. Of course, we do a lot more than pizzas now and, unlike back then, it’s all made in-house.” The decision to take cooking in-house was borne from a desire to ensure guests were satisfied with what was on offer. “Enjoying the outdoors and camping is what we are all about,” says Hayley of the site which holds a regional title for Best Park in Wales is has won a David Bellamy Gold Award. “We wanted to make sure that our diners were enjoying the hearty, homemade meals that encourage them to be active.” Nine years ago, Hayley’s father, site owner Arthur Mount took up the role of head chef and the restaurant has gone from strength to strength – winning rave reviews and awards. The menu includes signature dishes, such as homemade pizzas, tiger prawns sautéed in white wine and sambuca, seafood linguine and homemade curries. Recipes are kept top-secret – including ‘Nan’s’ recipe for cheesecake.
LOCALLY SOURCED While guests can enjoy a casual meal in the restaurant, there are also options available for those who want to dine alfresco. “All of our meals can be ordered for takeaway,” says Hayley. “It ensures our guests can enjoy them in whatever setting they wish. A firm believer in supporting local businesses, Tyddyn Isaf partnered with The Great Orme Brewery to create their own range of four local ales and a craft lager. “Summer of 76, for example, is a light hoppy summer ale that its name from the legendary hot summer of 1976 that heralded the start of Tyddyn Isaf under our ownership. Over 40 years and four generations later we are still going strong,” enthuses Hayley. Switching location to Cornwall’s rugged North Coast, Landal Gwel an Mor aims to deliver guests with a memorable eco-escape. Resort Director Matt Way ensures their eco-friendly ethos extends to every aspect of the business across the entire resort. A fleet of electric buggies and vans allow staff to move easily on site – without emissions, while its luxury eco lodges, with their low-maintenance gardens and high-efficiency LED lighting, have been built to have a reduced impact on the environment. Earlier this year, lights were dimmed throughout the site to mark Earth Hour 2019. “We wanted to make this an opportunity for our guests,” suggests Matt. “As well as dining by candlelight, our guests had an opportunity to see a flying display put on by one of our rangers and an owl.” With such green credentials, Matt ensures their eco-friendly ethos extends to every aspect of the business across the entire resort and with catering this means, straw and plastic free. “We are continuing to reduce our use all the time. Our takeaways, for example, are provided in paper bags and cardboard boxes,” explains Matt. Landal Gwel an Mor’s Terrace Restaurant, which has just launched a new menu, tries to source ingredients locally wherever possible. Seafood, for example is supplied by Matthew Stevens Cornish Fish in nearby St Ives. Because it is sustainably and ethically sourced, it ensures The Terrace’s inclusion in the Cornwall Good Seafood Guide. Mounts Bay Dairy, some 15 miles away in Penzance, is the chief supplier for local cheese and milk, while St Austell brewery supplies beverages. Not all ingredients need to be sourced on site, as Matt explains. “We keep a well-stocked herb garden just by the kitchen. It gives our chefs a convenient way of adding fresh flavour into our dishes as and when they need it.” “Being in Cornwall, it’s hardly surprising that the Cornish Camembert with house chutney is a favourite,” Matt reveals. “With the coast just metres from us, the same can be said for seafood dishes like our shellfish linguine and mussels with skin-on chips.”
North Wales parks boss David Thornley Jnr has pedalled to victory in his bid to raise much-needed funds for a children’s hospice appeal.
David, a director of Thornley Leisure Parks, led a group of seven amateur cyclists this summer in a gruelling 186-mile sponsored ride which was completed in a single day.
Now, thanks to the team’s efforts, Hope House Children’s Hospices will shortly be handed a cheque for £8,500 to help support its vital care for young sufferers. The donation brings to a remarkable £170,000 the total that Thornley Leisure Parks has raised for the UK-wide hospice charity over the years.
David’s epic ride began at Green Pastures Holiday Park in Abersoch and followed mostly minor roads before finishing at Gallaber Holiday Park in the Yorkshire Dales. The two parks are among the nine multi-award winning holiday centres now owned by the Thornley family’s business which was established over 55 years ago.
The group’s connection with Hope House Children’s Hospices, said David, goes just as far back: “It was my grandparents Dorothy and William who opened our first park, Craiglwyd Hall Caravan Park in Conwy, which we still own today,” he said.
“They both became supporters of the charity from the outset, and it’s a tradition which my family has been very happy and proud to continue to this day.
“Many of our park staff are also enthusiastic fundraisers for Hope House, and take part in a wide range of events and challenges to swell our donations. We owe a big debt of thanks to all our sponsors for their fantastic generosity,” added David.
There is more information about the charity on its website at www.hopehouse.org.uk