WISH YOU WERE HERE – Monkton Wyld

WISH YOU WERE HERE

Picture postcards from Monkton Wyld, West Dorset…


Monkton Wyld, near the coastal village of Charmouth in West Dorset, should be rightly proud of its quarter-century of providing families with first-class holiday experiences. Joanna and Simon Kewley first started welcoming guests to their family farm in the early nineties, and its idyllic location and friendly atmosphere quickly won them a large following.

Over the years, the couple have invested much time and energy into ensuring that the park offers families the perfect surroundings for a memorable Dorset holiday. The holiday park is situated in West Dorset’s Area of Outstanding National Beauty, only three miles from the World Heritage Jurassic Coast line of Devon and Dorset. Joanna and Simon have created many wildlife habitats in their 26-acre grounds where wild flowers flourish and provide foraging for honey bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

They have always been keen to run their park along sustainable lines and have been presented with the David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level for many years. The tranquil atmosphere is maintained by the park’s division into small paddocks for camping, caravan and motorhome guests who come from across Britain and mainland Europe. The summer camping field offers wonderful spacious camping for families and friends. A level rally field offers a great destination for small and larger groups with a number of 10amp pitches are available.

As well as pitches for caravans, motorhomes and tents, Monkton Wyld has a small but prestigious development of luxury caravan holiday homes. The 17C farmhouse sleeps up to nine people and pets are welcome to a four bedroom, holiday bungalow. A fully stocked shop is available on site for all those essentials and little luxuries. The site currently have three different food vans visiting weekly. Fish and Chips, Wood-fired pizzas and a Pie and Burger Van.

 

Monkton Wyld
Tel. 01297 631131
www.monktonwyld.co.uk

 

WISH YOU WERE HERE – Brighouse Bay Holiday Park in Southern Scotland

WISH YOU WERE HERE

Picture postcards from Brighouse Bay Holiday Park in Southern Scotland…

 

Southern Scotland’s Brighouse Bay Holiday Park in Dumfries and Galloway has been named by the AA as the best campsite in Scotland. The family-run business near Borgue beat hundreds of other eligible parks in Scotland to the title when it was announced in November.
Awards given by the AA – based on guest reviews and a “secret shopper” visit by inspectors - are regarded as the Oscars of the holiday parks industry. The seaside park’s facilities, services and levels of hospitality all went under the microscope – and each was found to meet or exceed the AA’s highest standards on every level.

 

 

As well as welcoming campers and the owners of touring caravans and motorhomes, Brighouse Bay provides a number of other accommodation options. They include luxury holiday lodges to own and to hire, some with private hot-tubs, plus cosy glamping lodges which are especially popular with young families.
A member of the prestigious Best of British group of independent parks, site facilities include an 18-hole golf course with spectacular coastal views, and a leisure complex which features an indoor pool, bistro, bar and family entertainment.
Activities available on the park include a mountain bike pump track and, during the summer, pony trekking for all ages as well as an all-tide slipway for boat owners.

 

 

Not that Brighouse Bay is any stranger to awards for it has been graded 4 stars by inspectors from VisitScotland and won a number of environmental accolades. These include the David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level, achieved for over 20 successive years in recognition of its many wildlife initiatives.
It also gained an additional award last year for its work to conserve hedges and woodlands, plus wildflower areas which provide vital foraging for honey bees and other pollinators. The park is also undertaking an ambitious rewilding project in areas of the grounds which will help provide additional wildlife habitats.

Brighouse Bay
Tel. 01557 870 267
www.brighousebayholidaypark.co.uk

CARBON BUSTERS

CARBON BUSTERS

Leading holiday parks share their green credentials…

 

THE QUIET SITE is located near the shores of Ullswater in picture-perfect Lake District countryside

 

When it comes to combating climate change, the holiday park industry stands loud and proud above most other sectors when it comes to carbon neutral investment.
Before you undertake your carbon footprint assessment, there are some outstanding examples from our peers who are putting their green credentials into action.
You will be well advised to follow their example and add your eco-friendly performance to this year’s marketing themes as customers love nothing more than investing in a planted-friendly holiday.
For instance, The Quiet Site, a family’s holiday park on Ullswater, in the Lake District, has been celebrated at the recent COP26 climate change conference for its fight against global warming.
The park, in Pooley Bridge, was highly commended for its carbon neutral initiatives, and hailed as a Hero of Net Zero at the UN conference’s awards ceremony. The award is part of the Together For Our Planet campaign which recognises original and creative actions taken by small businesses to cut their own greenhouse gas emissions.
Park owner Daniel Holder and his family travelled to the COP26 awards ceremony to receive the judges’ commendation from Andrew Griffith MP.

 

 

CLIMATE HUB
More than 160 businesses entered the competition, making a commitment at the UK Business Climate Hub to achieve net zero by 2050, in line with the Government’s own climate commitment.
The Quiet Site was highly commended in the small business category for demonstrating a range of measures taken on their journey to net zero. These included prioritising nature by planting wildflower meadows and native trees, building accommodation that generates more energy than it uses, and opening a zero-waste shop.
“All businesses need to become Heroes of Net Zero if the world is going to have an impact on climate change,” said Daniel.
“Our journey has been fascinating, bringing technologies and techniques together in a unique energy mix to enable us to be carbon neutral.
“We started introducing sustainable practices twenty years ago, not because we wanted to save the world but because the initiatives we introduced were based on elegant engineering and made good business sense.
“Our focus is now to enable our customers to visit us without using private cars. Great holidays don’t have to cost the earth,” added Daniel.
The Quiet Site won over the competition judges by not only reducing its own energy consumption and environmental impact, but also encouraging customers to be more environmentally friendly.

 

DEVON-BASED COFTON HOLIDAYS has been recognised for its rewilding efforts.

 

QUEEN’S AWARD
The business provides quality holidays in the heart of the Lake District, offering pitches for tents, camping, motorhomes and a variety of glamping options. Earlier this year, the park became Britain’s first holiday park to win a Queen’s Award for sustainability which was presented by Her Majesty’s Lord- Lieutenant of Cumbria, Claire Hensmen.
Not to be outshone, multi award- winning South West holiday park Cofton Holidays has scooped the Environment and Sustainability award at the Western Morning News Business Awards 2021, recognising its sustained conservation efforts during the pandemic.
Set within 80 acres of glorious Devon countryside, Cofton Holidays has been a family-run holiday park for over 40 years. Guests return year after year to enjoy its beautiful and convenient location, extensive facilities and wide choice of accommodation types for all the family.
Visitors to Cofton can choose from a range of holiday homes, cottages and lodges in the heart of the main park, or cottages and apartments on the estuary-view Eastdon Estate. Cofton also offers a choice of pitches for touring caravan holidays including hard- standing and RV pitches.
Cofton Holidays offers a variety of accommodation to suit all guests including luxury lodges, dog-friendly cottages, Georgian-style apartments, modern holiday homes and camping and caravanning pitches. Facilities include an indoor pool heated by a biomass hub with a splash pad area and hydrotherapy loungers, a gym, restaurant, pub, steam room, sauna, fitness studio, soft play area, playground, sports wall, outdoor pools and much more.
Guests also have access to five coarse fishing lakes, miles of cycle paths and nature trails that take visitors through woodland to the golden sands of Dawlish Warren beach and nature reserve.
Sustainability and green initiatives have always been at the top of the agenda for Cofton Holidays, but its rewilding project really took of during the pandemic. With 20 years’ worth of David Bellamy Conservation Awards under their belts, the team saw lockdown as the perfect opportunity to give the park back to Mother Nature.

 

WINNING THE ENVIRONMENT and Sustainability Business Award has been a fabulous achievement for the Cofton team.

 

REWILDING PROJECT
Enhancing the park’s carefully considered planting, extensive woodland, wildlife-friendly hedges, wildflower zones and on-site bug and bee hotel, Cofton has planted additional hedges, shrubs and trees to strengthen wildlife corridors across the site, bringing nature to the doorstep of its visitors. Wild deer, buzzards, butterflies, hedgehogs and a range of fascinating migrating birds can all be spotted thanks to the biodiversity on site. As well as planting perennial flora to attract more insects and pollinators, new hedges provide enhanced nesting environments and food for a variety of birds and bats.
A further scheme that gave Cofton the edge over its competitors is its £60,000 investment in 16 electric car charging points. No other business in the South West has more electric vehicle charging points in one location.
Added to that, Cofton has invested in 144kw of solar power units for the park’s 12 luxury lodges, an electric vehicle for housekeeping, an outdoor lighting review, and the planting of 36 mature trees, making it one of the region’s leading sustainable holiday parks.
Helen Scott, Director at Cofton Holidays, is thrilled with Cofton’s success: “Winning the Environment and Sustainability Award at this year’s Western Morning News Business Awards is a fabulous achievement for us.
“It’s testament to the hard work the team have put into our sustainable initiatives this year, and strengthens our reputation as a holiday park that puts the environment at the forefront of all that we do.”

 

DEVON-BASED Cofton Holidays has been recognised for its rewilding efforts.

 

MOTHER NATURE
Helen continued: “Throughout lockdown, we concentrated all our efforts on making improvements to the park. It was the perfect opportunity to enhance the natural landscape whilst our guests were away, ready for them to marvel at Mother Nature’s handy work once they returned.
“Our sustainability efforts have been recognised by a number of award bodies now including iTravel, VisitEngland and VisitDevon, but this is by no means the end to our investment in green initiatives.
“We will continue to nurture our local environment, fulfilling our sustainability commitment with plans to review our outdoor lighting to reduce light pollution overspill, investing in more charging units for guests staying at the cottages and participating in the tree planting scheme which will celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.
“As the recent climate change summit, COP26, has highlighted, it’s more important now than ever before that businesses take responsibility for operating in a sustainable way that will protect the environment for future generations. We take this seriously at Cofton and will continue to do all that we can to protect our beautiful corner of South Devon.”

 

 

CARBON BUSTING
Skelwith Fold, an Ambleside holiday park, has cut the green ribbon on a new office complex which can generate all of its own energy – and still have some to spare.
The 3,000 square foot building adjoins the park’s existing offices and has been designed for total self- sufficiency, powering everything from air-conditioning to espresso machines.
Its secret is a bank of high-efficiency solar panels on the roof which will deliver up to 14 kWh per day, even under the gloomiest winter skies.
Skelwith Fold’s Henry Wild says the two-storey complex has taken the park a huge step closer to its goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2024:”We wanted to see if we could make the building entirely carbon neutral, and found this was possible by using the latest solar technology to generate electricity.

 

SUSTAINABILITY AND GREEN initiatives have always been at the top of the agenda for Cofton Holidays.

 

“Even in use seven days a week, the building will still produce surplus power to harness elsewhere on the park and further reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. With the help of other solar panels elsewhere on the park, we are nearing our goal of all our buildings being self-sufficient in energy.
“I also hope that within two years we will create a state of carbon neutrality, and guests will be able to enjoy totally green holidays, even after their journey by car to the park is taken into account.”
The new building’s sustainable credentials are further enhanced by the use in its construction of recycled timber from larch trees grown in the park’s 130-acre grounds.
Skelwith Fold was forced to fell more than 200 larches last year after the Forestry Commission found them to be suffering from a fungal plant disease called Phytophthoras. Many of the areas left by the trees are now subject to an ambitious rewilding scheme.

COMPANY CONTACTS

Cofton Holidays
www.coftonholidays.co.uk

Skelwith Fold
www.skelwith.com

The Quiet Site
www.thequietsite.co.uk

TURNING TIDES

TURNING TIDES

LEEDONS RESIDENTIAL PARK IS THE FLAGSHIP in Allens Caravans residential portfolio.

Planners are favourable to Park Home applications reports Jane Herbert...

Back in the mid-1930’s, when auto trader Bill Allen decided to display touring Allens Caravans on his garage forecourt in Wolverhampton to fill some empty space., He could never have foreseen that Auto Selling Cars would grow into the huge success Allens Caravans is today. But times were changing, and caravan sales took off. Bill’s curiosity was piqued. Just a few years later in the 1950’s, with business growing, Bill moved the company to the historic stately home of Wootton Hall inWarwickshire’s Henley- in-Arden, which is still Allens Caravans headquarters today. Here, he hosted the first-ever Annual Midlands Caravan Exhibition, and its success made Bill realise that he was onto something. In the 1960s he travelled to the USA where he was inspired not just by the trend for caravan holidays, but also by the increasing popularity of Allens Caravans for all-year residential living. Bill returned toWootton Hall convinced of the potential growth for residential caravan parks in the UK, and with caravan sales soon outstripping car sales, Allens Caravans was born. Today, Allens Caravans is one of the country’s leading Park Operators with a portfolio of 13 Holiday and Residential Parks across the Midlands and Wales. The business, which now employs around 160 staff, is still managed by Bill’s grandchildren and other family members, with joint Managing Directors, Joe Folkes and James Allen, heading up the team.

THRIVING BUSINESS
“Allens Caravans has come a long way since its foundation in the 1930’s,” explains Joe Folkes. “But at heart we are still a thriving family business, the owners of which are not just faceless names, but third generation working Directors who can be found at our Head Office or on the Parks looking after the day-to-day running of the company,” he continues. “As a whole team, we ensure the highest possible standards are delivered at our Parks, for the benefit of our customers,” he adds. “We are so proud of the excellent reputation we have built with those customers, and also our colleagues within the caravan industry.” Currently, five of Allens Caravans 13 Parks are residential: Broadway Park with 82 residents and Leedons Residential Park with 129 residents in Worcestershire; Wootton Hall in Warwickshire with 290 residents; Pendeford Hall inWolverhampton with 62 residents; and Overstone Solarium Residential Park with 80 residents in Northamptonshire. Typically, Allens Caravans Parks have all been chosen for their stunning locations in the great British countryside. Residents of both Wootton Hall and Pendeford Hall can enjoy the outstanding surrounding scenery of two former historic country estates. Similarly, Overstone Solarium is set amongst 115 acres of beautiful woodland – the perfect spot to relish in the peace and quiet of retirement.


GAMES ROOM
Both Broadway Park and Leedons Residential Park are situated just ten minutes’ walk from the charming and picturesque village of Broadway in the prime location of the Cotswolds. With a scenic setting nestled beneath the Cotswold escarpment and overlooked by Broadway Tower, the Parks are blessed with plentiful wildlife and both Broadway and Leedons hold the prestigious Gold David Bellamy Conservation Award. Residents at the two sister Parks also benefit from an enviable array of facilities including an indoor swimming pool, a three rink bowling green, tennis court, social hall, launderette and games room. Leedons Residential Park is the newer development of the two, and the flagship in Allens Caravans residential portfolio. Originally acquired in the 1980’s, Leedons has been the focus of considerable expansion over the years and several £million investment both in its infrastructure and leisure facilities. A proportion of the Park is devoted to holiday home ownership (ten months of the year) but the focus is on delivering Residential Park Homes for the over 50s semi-retired and retired. Phase three of the Leedons development has recently been released and work is currently continuing on around 40 plots. Phase four is already in the planning with more luxury homes with exceptional countryside views coming soon. Prospective residents can choose from a variety of manufacturers including Willerby, Omar, Stately, Lissett, Homeseeker/Prestige, Tingdene and Pathfinder. Each home has its own garden area, a shed or greenhouse, and parking for up to two cars adjacent to the property. Pets are welcome on site and amongst the team of eight staff, there are resident Park Managers and Wardens for peace of mind.

Despite Allens Caravans obvious growth, long term expansion for the residential park sector as a whole is still reliant on the vagaries of the planning process. “We are always striving to expand our Park portfolio and there are a couple of Parks in the pipeline for the near future,” explains Joe. “The supply of new, modern sites for Parks is always going to be the biggest hurdle. “Fortunately, the tides are turning, and as local communities, councils and consumers start to see Park Homes (rightly so) on a par with conventional housing, the easier planning applications for Residential Parks will be.” Allens Caravans continued success is also evident in their Holiday Park portfolio. A brand new luxury Holiday Park, Bredon View, opened in Worcestershire on May 1st this year, bringing a five year development plan to fruition. No mean feat considering the tricky trading conditions of the pandemic. “Park Homes, much like every supply chain industry, has been hit by delays due to Covid,” says Joe. “With hundreds of supplies involved in manufacture and construction, this has inevitably resulted in a knock-on effect of price increases and, more significantly, longer waiting times,” Joe points out. “But we continue to invest back into all our Parks, both in terms of facilities and infrastructure.We have a solid history of investment spanning nine decades and this spirit is ingrained into every new generation who take on the stewardship of the Allens Caravans brand.”

Allens Caravans
Tel. 01564 792323
www.allenscaravans.co.uk

 

Farewell To Friend of Holiday Parks

Farewell To Friend of Holiday Parks

ABOVE: The inspirational David Bellamy has died at the age of 86.

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.

Nature’s Paradise

Nature’s Paradise

Natures paradise 1

William Wordsworth described the Lake District as ‘the loveliest spot that man hath found’ and residents of Nepgill Park have certainly found their own little slice of nature’s paradise, just a few minutes away from the famous writer’s childhood home. Nepgill Park enjoys a peaceful rural setting in the quiet village of Bridgefoot, a few miles from the beautiful market towns of Cockermouth (William Wordsworth’s birthplace) and Keswick.

The park was originally established by a local man, Leo Smith, back in the 1960’s. Nepgill’s current owners, Kevin and Marcia Morgan, bought the park in 1987 from Kevin’s brother, which worked out to be perfect timing for both. “My brother wanted to sell up and move into the holiday industry,” explains Kevin. “Meanwhile, I was getting tired of flying all over the world in my job as an electronics engineer and wanted to keep my feet on the ground for a while. Nepgill represented the chance to build something for my family where I could, everyday, appreciate what I had achieved and enjoy a different pace of life.” Since taking over Nepgill, Kevin and Marcia haven’t looked back and under their careful ownership, the park is now double the size, with 56 residential plots, seven rental flats and cottages and 81 residents.

ABOVE: Nepgill's owners, Kevin & Marcia Morgan, bought the pakr in 1987.

ABOVE: Nepgill's owners, Kevin & Marcia Morgan, bought the pakr in 1987.

Daughter, Mel Wykes, joined the family business in 2016 to help out in the busy park office. Unusually for a residential park, Nepgill enjoys a diverse population due to the fact that the only age stipulation is that residents need to be over 18. “The park has a great community of working, semi-retired and retired residents,” says Mel. “There is quite a mix of ages with younger people, especially, renting out our flats and cottages. Nepgill is very much focused around its people and  building that community spirit that can be so hard to find these days. Almost everyone here gets involved in life on the park and supports our green projects.” Nestled within a quiet corner of the spectacular Lake District National Park, it’s no surprise that the area’s natural beauty is an integral part of the park’s development. In fact, the Morgans have excelled in creating a park with a focus on providing a peaceful, natural environment for both residents and wildlife to enjoy. Nepgill Park enjoys an abundance of wildlife including deer and red squirrels, with views across fields to the beautiful Lakeland fells. Over the years, many hundreds of metres of hedgerows and trees have been planted and nurtured, and a pond and wildlife area created for residents to enjoy. The pond is currently home to many ducks and ducklings, as well as being a magnet for other birds, aquatic species and amphibians. The local red squirrels are well loved (and fed) by residents, who generously provide many well-stocked nut boxes in their gardens for these regular and much admired little visitors.

 

HONEY BEES
Natural paradise 6Nepgill’s exceptional commitment to the environment was recognised last autumn, when it was named as a 2018-19 winner of the prestigious Gold level David Bellamy Conservation Award. The park received three extra commendations from Professor Bellamy for its work on protecting honey bees, managing hedgerow habitats, and its extensive wild flower plantings. “We were absolutely thrilled to be presented with the David Bellamy Award last year,” says Mel. “It’s recognition of all the hard work that my parents and the residents have put in over the years to make Nepgill such a naturally beautiful and environmentally-friendly place to live. Everyone who visits the park comments on how peaceful it is, tucked away in our own little corner between the mountains and the sea.”

FAMILY VISION
Kevin says that the family’s vision for Nepgill has always been about “quality over quantity.” The residential homes are spread over a nine-acre site but careful landscaping and generous green areas mean that the park feels very spacious and far removed from the grid layout of traditional parks. A mixture of single and twin homes, many from Lissett Homes and Prestige Homeseeker, encircle traditional stone cottages and barn conversions, which are available to let. Nepgill Park also includes Millbanks Court, a newer development of twin homes with sett-stone driveways and adjacent garages. The park is unique in that its 12-month license for residential living has been granted in perpetuity. For the future, the family intends to develop Nepgill ’s environmental projects and is establishing a working ‘beekeeper’ team to manage the park’s own hives. They are also thinking ahead and are keen for residents to embrace the benefits of electric vehicles. Mel is currently exploring the best options for electric charging points. “It’s important to anticipate tomorrow’s needs,” says Mel. “We’re keen to stay ahead and also have plans to expand in some way.” Dad, Kevin concurs: “We don’t want to over-burden Mel for the future but there’s still lots to do here, even after 30 years. Marcia and I haven’t got any plans to retire for a while yet!”

Nepgill Park
Tel. 01900 826582
www.nepgillpark.com

 

Conservation Award For Five Star Park

Conservation Award For Five Star Park

Rufus Bellamy congratulates Morben Isaf Holiday Park managers Ben and Sarah Lewis on achieving a special distinction award from the David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme watched by Salop Leisure’s managing director Dylan Roberts.

A five star caravan holiday park situated next to the Dyfi Osprey Project in Mid Wales has received a special distinction award from the David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme. Morben Isaf Holiday Park at Derwenlas, near Machynlleth has been honoured for its partnership with Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust’s Cors Dyfi nature reserve, where the osprey project is located. The David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme recognises holiday parks that protect and enhance Britain’s natural environment. The park has held a gold award since 2015 and is also “Honey Bee Friendly”. Sarah Lewis, who manages Morben Isaf Holiday Park with her husband, Ben, said they were delighted to win the accolade. The park, which is owned by Salop Leisure, has 92 pitches for holiday homes and 26 for tourers. Since the osprey project was established in 2009, the park has provided support in many ways - mains water supply, accommodation for volunteers who guard the nest, car parking and manpower. The park has also built bridges and pathways to make it easier for holiday home and tourer owners to visit the project. Many of the owners are project volunteers. Rufus Bellamy, who runs the award scheme for his famous botanist father, David, said the assessor had been very impressed by the way the park has collaborated with the wildlife trust to develop the successful osprey project.

Hexham Park Is Haven For Wildlife

Hexham Park Is Haven For Wildlife

CauseyA Northumberland holiday park has received a top environmental accolade from David Bellamy.

The world-famous botanist presented Causey Hill Holiday Park in Hexham with a prestigious David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level. David Bellamy said that the family owned park could congratulate itself on having created an environment which provided a VIP welcome for both wildlife and holiday guests. He praised the park’s planting of hundreds of native trees and shrubs which, along with its private woodland, provide habitats and food resources for many animal and bird species.

Park manager Linda Grant said: “We live and work in a beautiful part of Northumberland, and we are anxious to do all we can to protect the natural environment and wildlife.

“Causey Hill has a special appeal to couples and families and they are very supportive of our efforts to safeguard the surroundings here, and to help preserve this area’s very special character,” Linda added.

Bellamy Praises Community Spirit

Bellamy Praises Community Spirit

Fern

Mother Ivey’s Bay Holiday Park in Padstow, Cornwall, gives away a week’s holiday to a needy family for every hundred bookings the park takes.

Hundreds of holiday and residential parks which reach out to their local communities will be put under the spotlight in this year’s David Bellamy Conservation Awards.

Scheme organiser Rufus Bellamy says that this year he is keen to celebrate parks acting as ‘good neighbours’. He reports that a whole raft of initiatives are now making a very real difference to many peoples’ lives around the country.

“The David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme does, of course, put a major emphasis on how parks work to protect their natural environment,” said Rufus.

“However, the scheme also highlights those which engage with their local community because this, in our view, demonstrates that the park is taking a holistic view of its business.

“This year, our assessors have uncovered many fantastic new initiatives which we’ll be using to underline just how many ways there are for parks to reach out,” said Rufus.

The names of the 500-plus parks expected to receive David Bellamy Conservation Awards this year at gold, silver and bronze levels will be announced this month.

Family Values at Dornafield Caravan Park

The environment is a top priority for the park and it has earned a David Bellamy Conservation award at gold level since 2000.

Above: The environment is a top priority for the park and it has earned a David Bellamy Conservation award at gold level since 2000.

Family Values at Dornafield Caravan Park

Traditional family values have proven to be a winning formula for Dornafield Caravan Park in Devon.

Park owner Peter Dewhirst, who with his wife Tina, first started welcoming visitors to the former farm over 30 years ago.

Today Peter, aged 83, is helped in the day-to-day running of the business by his son Simon and daughter-in-law Linda. Situated on the doorstep of the English Riviera and Dartmoor, the multi award-winning Dornafield Caravan Park attracts thousands of visitors each year.

“Our close knit team of nine staff work tirelessly throughout the season to produce a charming and desirable holiday experience for our loyal customers,” comments Peter. “We value all of our visitors and pride ourselves on our friendly and helpful manner. This is one of the many reasons why we believe visitors come back year after year.”

Having held the prestigious AA 5-Pennant rating for 24 years and the current 5 Gold Pennant rating since its introduction three years ago, Dornafield is well-known for its pristinely landscaped grounds and first-class facilities. The focal point of the site is 13th century Devon long House which dates from 1238, just after Magna Carta and is Grade II listed. The farmyard is the park’s central hub and is the setting for barbecues and Morris dancing throughout the summer season and the surrounding farm buildings have been turned into a shop, games room and tourist information point.

The Dornafield team has supported Breast Cancer Campaign’s ‘Wear It Pink’ day for the last seven years, which has raised over £1,500.

Above: The Dornafield team has supported Breast Cancer Campaign’s ‘Wear It Pink’ day for the last seven years, which has raised over £1,500.

The 30 acre park is divided into three separate areas; the Orchard, the Buttermeadow and Blackrock Copse. The Orchard comprises of 16 grass tent pitches and is ideal for families with young children as it is enclosed by old walls and hedges. The Buttermeadow has been specially landscaped to provide spacious, level pitches which are all served by luxury toilet and shower facilities. Meanwhile Blackrock Copse is designed to offer the ultimate caravanning experience with 60 deluxe pitches complemented by the climate-controlled facilities building with heated flooring.

“We drew on our 18 years’ experience with Buttermeadow when we created Blackrock Copse and the unashamedly up-market development continues to be a talking point for many of our guests,” says Peter. “We are proud to have been Caravan Club affiliated for 23 years, so all Club members can be assured that the high standards they expect from Club Sites are more than met at Dornafield.”

The environment is also a top priority for the park and it has earned a David Bellamy Conservation award at gold level since 2000.

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