Really Wild Show For Elms Residents
Elms Retirement Park enjoyed a safe and informative fundraising experience. With the Lincolnshire park finding a touching way to aid animal welfare, the addition of exotic guests helped raise vital funds at the packed wildlife discovery day. Residents at the Torksey Park were joined by friends and family, with meerkats, pythons and skunks among the centrepiece critters on show. Visitors enjoyed a hands-on experience, petting and holding the animal in return for a small donation for pictures.
Tracey Coulson, a director of The Elms and a member of the park-owning family, said the day had proved a fantastic success for all ages: “It was a great experience for everyone,” said Tracey, “And the animal experts present did a superb job in telling us about the different species, and how they were working to protect them,” she added. “We have around 300 homes on the park, and many of the residents came along and also invited other members of their families, including lots of children. “Residents and guests were also very generous with their donations, and the park has received a big thank-you from the organisers for supporting their work,” added Tracey. The animals were brought along by Meercats And More which visits schools and other institutions to provide education about wildlife and some of the threats it faces.
Devon Park Embarks On A Green Safari
The owners of Ladram Bay Holiday Park are stepping up their efforts to make the park a haven for flora and fauna, including endangered species.
Visitors to Ladram Bay Holiday Park this year are being invited to enjoy a ‘green safari’ of the grounds where a raft of new wildlife-friendly initiatives are taking place. Last year the park was named by world-famous botanist David Bellamy as a winner of his prestigious conservation award at its top gold level.
Now Ladram Bay’s family owners say they intend to move up another gear in their efforts to make the park a haven for flora and fauna, including endangered species. Holiday guests, it says, will notice many new plantings of native trees, shrubs and flowers – including foxgloves flourishing in fallen trees which have been allowed to naturally decay. At the same time, the park will be removing various non-native species such as laurel – and bolstering its historic hedgerows with new plants such as blackthorn, spindle and hazel.
Credit for much of the work, says Ladram Bay, is due to head gardener Scott Rowe who leads a four-person grounds-keeping team tasked with putting the park’s plans into action. Park director Zoe House says the latest initiatives will add an extra dimension of discovery for holiday guests to enjoy during their stays: “Our family first started welcoming holidaymakers to Ladram Bay Holiday Park more than seventy years ago,” said Zoe. “It was then a farm, and we have never forgotten our agricultural roots and the importance of managing the land in a sustainable way. “Protecting the natural world and its inhabitants is even more important now than it was then, and we try to ensure that the park is as welcoming to wildlife as it is to guests.”
Covering 12 acres of tranquil countryside, Trethem Mill attracts thousands of camping and touring caravan visitors each year from the UK and overseas.
Family Team Scores Awards Hat-Trick
Trethem Mill Touring Park in Cornwall is celebrating a triple triumph of awards, including an accolade for its work to protect endangered honey bees. The family-owned business celebrated its first honour when judges in the Cornwall Tourism Awards crowned it as the county’s finest caravan and camping park. The park’s environmental policies were marked in the second of the accolades it received this month from world-famous botanist David Bellamy. Professor Bellamy presented the park with his prestigious Conservation Award at its top gold level, recognising the raft of initiatives taken to safeguard the natural world. The hat trick of accolades was completed when David Bellamy also designated Trethem Mill as an official “Honey Bee Friendly” park as part of his new initiative to prevent the insects’ decline. Park owners Ian and Jane first moved to Trethem Mill with Ian’s parents – Derek and Lorna - 24 years ago, and Jane says the park’s success has been very much the result of a team effort: “Very sadly, Lorna passed away earlier this year – but she believed strongly, as we all do, in trying to make Trethem Mill a place for creating truly memorable holiday experiences,” said Jane. “We would like to see these awards as a tribute to her passion for this part of Cornwall, and to making the park a match for these beautiful surroundings.”
Sweet Success For Honey Bee Initiative
Back of Beyond park owners Martin and Vicky Bowrey have been praised for their outstanding conservation.
Over a quarter of a million honey bees have helped a New Forest touring park achieve a top level Gold David Bellamy Conservation Award for the third year in succession. Back of Beyond Touring Park owners Martin and Vicky Bowrey have installed eight hives on their 30-acre park to try and help stem the sharp national decline in bee numbers. The initiative has been praised by botanist David Bellamy for its outstanding efforts to provide a safe haven for the bees.
Back of Beyond is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Martin says that visitors to the adult-only park are thrilled at the close encounter with nature on offer: “We’re fortunate to have two wildlife lakes in the grounds, and it’s possible to spot an amazing number of species including otters and red deer,” he said.
“The park is also rich in wild flowers including many high pollen-bearing blooms which bees and butterflies love – and that gave us the idea for the hives.
“Experts say that lack of foraging opportunities and the use of agricultural chemicals are causing bee populations to fall, but we’ve plenty of nectar here and a total ban on herbicides.” Covering 30 acres of quiet countryside, over half of which is woodland, Back of Beyond provides 80 pitches for camping, touring caravans and motorhomes. As well as the David Bellamy award, the park has also gained a raft of other accolades including the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for its consistently glowing reviews.
Bellamy Praises Community Spirit
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.
Trethem Mill Celebrates A Golden Year
The 2015 bar has been set high for Trethem Mill Touring Park after winning three separate gold awards last year.
Trethem Mill Touring Park is celebrating a highly successful year after completing a hat-trick of gold accolades.
Most recently, the Cornish park received the overall Camping and Caravanning Park of the Year title at the Cornwall Tourism Awards in November – the eighth occasion in the 13 years of the event that Trethem Mill has taken a gold award.
Last spring, the park was one of just a handful of caravan and camping parks in the UK chosen to receive the prestigious gold award given out by VisitEngland to its highest rated parks. Then, in autumn, botanist David Bellamy announced Trethem Mill as a winner of his Conservation Award at its top gold level.
Park owner Jane Akeroyd said that 2014 had been a whirlwind of a year for the park, both in terms of visitor numbers and the awards it has received: “By far the majority of our guests are now either repeat visitors, or people coming as a result of a recommendation, which helps create a lovely atmosphere on the park.
“Our latest Cornwall Tourism award is especially pleasing as it judges not just the quality of the park, but also the welcome and hospitality which is shown to holidaymakers.”
Jane added: “The bar has now been set pretty high for 2015, but we are determined to carry on simply making Trethem Mill the type of park to which everyone wants to return”.
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.”