Leading holiday parks share their green credentials…
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
“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.
The Quiet Site