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

 

A Cinderella Story

A Cinderella Story

There are 278 plots at South Lakeland Leisure Village, offering a mixture of holiday homes and holiday lets.

There are 278 plots at South Lakeland Leisure Village, offering a mixture of holiday homes & lets.

Hard work and determination has paid off for a woman who started working as a cleaner when she barely spoke a word of English and is now at the helm of an award-winning holiday park in north Lancashire.

Zuzana Terry, 36, who hails from Slovakia, only knew the basics of the English language when she got a job cleaning the facilities at Fell End Caravan Park at Hale, near Milnthorpe, in 2005. Within a short space of time she began helping out in the on-site shop before being promoted to duty manager in 2008.

Two years later, the park’s owners, Pure Leisure Group, moved her across to South Lakeland Leisure Village – where she has worked her way up from Head Housekeeper to General Manager in just six years.

“I couldn’t believe it. It was a huge surprise and I feel really proud,” said Mrs Terry, who grew up in Sobrance in Slovakia, but now lives in Carnforth. “When I first moved here I hardly spoke a word of English and I didn’t really know what a caravan or a lodge was. That meant I had to learn everything from scratch and I think it’s given me a huge advantage to have worked my way up and to understand how all the elements of the business work.”

Zuzana now oversees the day to day running of South Lakeland Leisure Village, which is Pure Leisure Group’s flagship park. Located in north Lancashire, close to the Lake District, the leisure village welcomes several thousand visitors each year, from owners to holidaymakers, many of whom have been visiting for years.

THRIVING VENUE

Zuzana now oversees the day to day running of South Lakeland Leisure Village, which is Pure Leisure Group’s flagship park.

Zuzana now oversees the day to day running of South Lakeland Leisure Village, which is Pure Leisure Group’s flagship park.

The park sits on the site of a former gravel pit and was transformed into the thriving park it is today by owner John Morphet in 2003. “As well as offering sailing on the lake and its own leisure complex and restaurant, there’s all sorts to see and do on the doorstep, making the park very popular with families,” explains Zuzana.

“It is particularly popular with couples who have retired, or arenearing retirement, who enjoy the convenience of the park’s location. The majority of these owners let their lodges out when they or their families are not visiting themselves, ensuring their holiday home returns an income.”

There are 278 plots on the park, offering a mixture of holiday homes and holiday lets. The holiday lodges range in price from £69,995 to more than £250,000, and many of the plots are on the water front, with private jetties, wooden decking and hot tubs.

The park operates a buy-to-let scheme which ensures that buyers can earn an income from their holiday home when it’s not in use. This is a huge attraction to buyers, who are guaranteed a return of 6% per annum for three years. Several owners have started with one lodge, and bought more as they have come available.

“The park’s biggest challenge is also its biggest asset,” reveals Zuzana. She continues: “The nearby Lake District National Park is full of alternative options when it comes to luxury holiday homes but this works in our favour, with around 30% of holiday home sales on the park resulting from people ‘calling in’ as they head back down the M6 after being put off by high prices or Lake District traffic jams.”

The leisure village has an 11 month season, closing from the beginning of January to the beginning of February for annual maintenance work and improvements. The state-of-the-art Pure Leisure Health & Fitness Club is the highlight of the leisure facilities offered at the park and includes a gym, fitness suites a large, indoor swimming pool, steam room and a beauty spa.

NEW INVESTMENT

The latest addition to the park is a brand new £2million development of eco-friendly holiday homes, which bridges the gap between the high-end caravans and luxury lodges. Named The Yealands, the development has been developed from scratch by Pure Leisure Group and owners have access to all of the facilities at the leisure village.

Zuzana says she has a number of hopes for her new role at the park, but will concentrate on putting people first: “I have loved all of my jobs because I like working with people. I’m not afraid of hard work and I know every person in the team has an important role to play in keeping a lovely place like this running smoothly.”

South Lakeland Leisure Village
Tel. 01524 781918
www.pure-leisure.co.uk