THREE DECADES OF DEDICATED SERVICE

THREE DECADES OF DEDICATED SERVICE

RKUBOTA HAS BEEN THE SUPPLIER of choice for Deighan’s Caravan Park for the past three decades.

2023 is a special year for Deighan’s Caravan Park, as the family-run business celebrate 30 years since the doors first opened on the five-star resort close to Benone, Northern Ireland. Their first mower – installed by local dealers D.A.Forgie - was a Kubota and three decades on, it remains Kubota at the heart of site maintenance, with a fleet of Kubota F-Series mowers ensuring a picture-postcard start to every holiday.

Deighan’s currently has four mowers, including an F3890 and F391 from Kubota’s F-Series. The F3890 sets the benchmark for the out-front mower market, featuring a 38hp 4-cylinder engine that delivers unbeatable productivity and impeccable cut quality. The F391 further enhances the F Series’ position as the professional’s choice for parks, open spaces and local authorities with a high output, maximum comfort philosophy.

The newer, stage-V compliant model also offers power steering and an adjustable out-front deck making the F391 highly manoeuvrable. Together with an RTV-X1110 used to transport the team around the site, the latest delivery was a Kubota M4063 tractor, fitted with turf tyres, installed in December 2021.

Kubota has been a leading manufacturer of agricultural equipment, construction equipment, lawn mowers and industrial engines since 1890. With its global headquarters in Osaka, Japan, offices in more than 120 countries and more than 41,000 employees in North America, Europe and Asia, Kubota had a turnover of $20 billion in 2021.

Kubota
Tel. 07866 810794
E. rob.edwards@kubota.com
www.kubota-global.net

DESTINATION HOT TUBS

DESTINATION HOT TUBS

Holiday locations now have a wealth of compliant spas to choose from...

HOLIDAY BOOKERS continue to look for hot tubs as part of their vacation wish list.

The holiday market continues to recognise hot tubs as essential for attracting the best level of bookings. Key words and phrases such as ‘staycation UK with hot tub’, ‘hot tub staycations UK’, and ‘UK staycations with hot tubs’ all appear on a list of the most common staycation Internet searches. So, there is great appeal for the appropriately named Vacation Range, from Superior Wellness, that is ideal for holiday homes, cottages, B&Bs and Airbnb.

Ready to order now, you can choose from the Vacation Lounge or the Vacation Social depending on your customers’ needs. Great for guests who want to relax on holiday, the Vacation Lounge hot tub is suitable for five to six people and offers the perfect combination of one lounger and five seats. This 13 amp hot tub has R10 insulation and 25 jets.

 

SOCIAL TIMES
Superior’s Vacation Social is an all-seater hot tub for up to seven people, ideal for larger holiday rentals that need a hot tub big enough to fit all guests in. This 13-amp hot tub has R10 insulation and 26 jets. Not to be out-shone, Sunbeach Spas remain the exclusive supplier of hot tubs and related products to a number of holiday parks around the UK, including multiple sites with both Coastfields Leisure and Country & Coastal Holidays along the east coast, and also Lady’s Mile Holiday Park in the south.

“We continue to bring new holiday park companies on board, and most recently have been awarded a new contract to supply over 100 of our 344S spas and 100 saunas to a brand new park over the next six months,” reveals Sunbeach’s Wayne Green. Sunbeach’s 344S plug-and-play spa is now in its third regeneration and remains by far the spa of choice for most of our holiday park clientele.

Wayne confirms: “They appreciate its simplicity of design, combined with a good feature set for its price point - enough features to make it great for customers to have fun and relax in, but also be easy to maintain by site staff. The 344S features award-winning R10 insulation system, making it cost-effective to run, too. “For the next level in lower-cost, eco-friendlier running, it is also heat source pump compatible and pairs wonderfully with the iNHEAT range of heat pumps exclusively available from Sunbeach Spas,” Wayne shares.

“Our iNHEAT heat pumps are available with outputs from 3kW to 21kW, with either on/off switching or inverter controls, and can be retrofitted onto a wide range of spas and swim spas.” Matthew Lowe, Sales Manager with Coastfields Leisure Ltd, endorses the Sunbeach offering: “We have been in partnership with Sunbeach Spas now for over five years, we chose to use them initially due to the energy efficiency and ease of installation of the 344 tub. We are currently using almost exclusively the 344 spa,” says Matthew.

“We picked this model due to it looking the part, excellent build quality, great energy efficiency, ease of installation and we have not been disappointed,” adds Matthew. Coastfields currently have around 100 tubs on our fleet units and Sunbeach look after all the warranty and aftercare needs including the care chemicals and filters. There is also a stock of chemicals and filters in Coastfields’ shops so retail customers, who also have the same tubs, can keep them in perfect condition.

 

Matthew enthuses: “We are also currently near completion of another lodge development at Grange Leisure Mablethorpe utilising the 344 tub. It’s been a pleasure to work with Sunbeach Spas and look forward to many more years of excellent service.“ Relative newcomers to the holiday hot tub sector, Certikin offers a range of four true-hydrotherapy hot tubs, specifically designed for the holiday-let market for both guests and operators.

The commercial spas don’t just comply but some exceed the all-important health and safety requirements enforced by HSE and Local Authorities. The premium, energy-efficient smart spas feature an ozone generator, 24- hour filtration duration; a spa frog in-line chemical dosing system and have no perishable items such as headrests, diverter, or air valves fitted.

In addition, and going above and beyond the HSE and BISHTA guidelines, the hot tubs also feature a fast drain valve, reducing drainage time to 9-10 minutes; a reduced heating time of 3-5 hours with an additional energy source; tamper proof 2-3 button control panel and a silent, energy-saving circulation pump to protect the high-speed pumps.

They can be operated via a Smartphone App and Wi-Fi control that allows the operation of up to 100 spas. The Sevilla Plug and Play model features one lounger and five seats and has 46 hydrotherapy jets and relaxing LED colour-therapy lighting. Due to its low power consumption, it is ideal for parks with limited electricity supply.

The Cordoba comes with 40 hydrotherapy jets, StarLightTM corners, Central LED colour therapy lighting and accommodates six people. The smallest hot tub in the range is the four-seater Porto whilst the largest is the very spacious seven-seater Valencia.

 

HEALTH AND SAFETY
The main aim of the introduction of Health and Safety Guideline 282 (HSG282), that came into effect in early 2017, was to reduce the risk of Legionella outbreaks associated with spas and hot tubs. The guideline covers all spas and hot tubs in a commercial setting i.e. all those hired out and used by more than one party such as holiday destinations and lets.

The guidance aims to:
• Reduce the risk of Legionella and microbiological contamination
• Emphasise the operator’s responsibility
• Ensure testing is frequent and planned (at least three times a day)
• Highlights that results should be recorded
• Stresses there should be a written action plan if required

The Lovibond® Professional Pool and Spa Photometer Kit enables the operator to measure all the tests mentioned in HSG282 from one case. Contained within the kit is an MD 100 Professional Photometer for the measurement of chlorine, bromine and pH and an SD 80 Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Pen. All kits are supplied complete and ready to use. They use premeasured reagents which when added to the hot tub or pool water sample form a colour the intensity of which is proportional to the amount of substance being tested.

A typical test procedure would be
• Take a sample of the water to be tested in a sample cell, place it in a photometer and zero the unit
• Add tablet reagents and allow the colour to develop
• Return cell to photometer and read
• Record results and take appropriate action

Each HSG282 test kit purchased receives access to a FREE online Training Course. The training course covers:
• What is HSG282
• What to test for and why
• Correct Sampling
• Overview of pH, TDS, Chlorine & Bromine
• How to use photometers, comparators & TDS Pens
Importantly, the kit measures both chlorine and bromine so, if different disinfectants are used across your site, the same kit will cover both. Contact support@lovibond.uk for more information.

REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE

REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE

WATER PLAY ATTRACTIONS need to be kept in tip-top condition by specialist teams like The Splash.

As the warmer weather approaches, many leisure parks, holiday parks, and local authorities are preparing to open their splash pads for the season. The Splash offers recommissioning and maintenance services to help ensure a successful opening.

“Our services are essential for ensuring that splash pads are functioning properly and are safe for use. We can work with existing systems to assess the current state of facilities and perform any necessary repairs or upgrades to ensure a seamless opening,” says Clare Jayson. “Whether you are looking to reopen a splash pad that has been closed for the winter season or are looking to improve the overall experience for your visitors, our team of experts is here to help,” she adds.

The Splash prioritise safety and quality in all of our work and are dedicated to providing the best possible service to clients. Their splash pad products are all crafted in the UK, providing cost-effective pricing, exceptional quality, and distinctive solutions.

The Splash
enquiries@thesplash.uk
www.thesplash.uk

DARWIN LEISURE PROPERTY FUNDING

DARWIN LEISURE PROPERTY FUNDING

THE DARWIN LEISURE PROPERTY FUND continues to invest in destinations such as Keswick Reach in Cumbria.

Darwin Alternatives has secured a long-term revolving credit facility with Santander UK for the Darwin Leisure Property Fund (DLPF). Founded in 2008, DLPF owns 18 high quality holiday parks operated under the Darwin Escapes brand. DLPF is one of three separate open-ended funds for which Darwin Alternatives is the Investment Advisor.

The funds are focused on providing long term investors with alpha-driven investment solutions that aim to enhance capital and provide predictable levels of income. DLPF, which is dedicated to investing in premium holiday parks in England and Wales, will use the bank’s funding to support working capital requirements at an individual park level as well as providing a liquidity facility to enable the Fund to efficiently manage the cash flow of redemptions and acquisitions.

Over the last 10 years, DLPF has generated an average annual return of 8.88 per cent for its investors, predominantly pension funds of local authorities with a long-term investment horizon. Historically, the enhanced quality and service available at Darwin’s sites has meant that their annual revenue potential per pitch is significantly higher than the industry average.

CARRY ON GLAMPING

CARRY ON GLAMPING

Eco-credentials and a unique experience are top of the list when it comes to maintaining that all-important occupancy rate, reports Judith Wojtowicz

 

PEACE AND TRANQUILLITY in the Malvern Hills, a project developed by The Rural Planning Co

 

Getting up close and personal with a llama might not be everyone’s idea of a perfect holiday break. But at Glamping with Llamas on the border of Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, it is the ultimate in experiential glamping. The clue is in the name… a herd of ‘off duty’ grazing llamas are well used to visitors walking among them.

At 6pm each day, in the words of Tina Gambell, they are ‘on duty’ as she and husband Chris feed, groom and demonstrate how to handle them, sharing with visitors keen to learn more about these gentle creatures. The couple set up their business after realising their paddock pets had potential to offer a unique visitor experience.

“The difference here is that we encourage our guests to walk among the llamas and interact with them where similar sites seem to keep their animals behind a fence,” said Tina. One of their llamas acted as ring bearer for a summer wedding… a truly immersive and unique experience.

 

A WOOD-BURNING STOVE at the heart of this well-appointed safari tent is ideal for chilly nights at Meadowfield

 

SELLING POINTS
“The market is becoming saturated but for sites with a genuine usp, even those who are watching their pennies, will return if they enjoyed a memorable and unique experience,” added Tina, who is developing their wedding offering for the coming year. The word ‘experience’ is cropping up more and more as market growth slows, having seen an explosion of interest during the pandemic as people sought ‘outside’ holiday options.

While some pop-up sites and less-well managed businesses have since vanished, there is still much to choose from, be it a £60 per night cabin with shared shower block or high-end glamour from £200 upwards. In the absence of definitive data, anecdotal evidence seems to indicate glamour alone is no longer enough. Among the fast-growing millennial crowd, priorities include an eco-friendly offering combined with glorious setting and 5-star plus luxury… picture perfect for Instagram.

 

They want quirky en suite accommodation, think treehouse, geodome, gypsy caravan, stargazer tent, yurt, exotic tipi or converted vintage vehicles, with added value such as spa, wellness activities, nature trails and even the services of a top-class professional chef. Green tourism is a big trend with all ages, as people actively seek a glampsite that embraces sustainability, reducing their carbon footprint and getting close to nature.

One such is Brownscombe Luxury Glamping in Devon whose far-ranging sustainability policy has seen it win the Green Tourism Gold Award three years running. Its commitments include using third-party suppliers who follow similar principles such as the local laundry that has invested in biomass and solar technologies to minimise their impact on the environment, not to mention a water borehole.

 

SUNRISE: There’s glamping and then there’s Glamping with Llamas.

 

A fine example of a circular economy designed to reduce waste and protect the environment. Sarah Riley, founder of The Glamping Academy helps would-be hosts around the world to design their dream eco-accommodation. She told us: “Only ten years ago a bell tent in a field was enough of an attraction because it was seen as new and different.

Today, as well as a wonderful location and amazing interiors a successful business needs to maximise the guest experience.” All those things can be found at The Little Shire in Somerset, whimsical hobbit houses built partly underground… fit for hobbits and humans, says Adelle Hobbs, who added glamping to an established commercial operation within a converted dairy farm.

A selection of independent shops and eateries, plus black-nosed valois sheep and friendly alpacas make for a memorable setting. There is even a hobbit playhouse for children.

 

UP CLOSE and personal with Ria the llama.

 

COSY AND WARM
The houses are fully insulated with underfloor heating. While this makes them cosy and warm enabling year-round occupancy, they are energy hungry which is cause for concern amid rising costs. Fresh water comes from a borehole and the site has its own waste system.

Having welcomed her first visitors in May last year, after a four-year planning process interrupted by the pandemic, Adelle was fully booked very quickly and is anxious not to lose that momentum. Marketing is an ongoing challenge a role she has now passed on to a professional agency to relieve her of the ‘mind-boggling stress’ that kept her awake at night worrying about the online booking system and social media.

 

“I am great with people, and I love this lifestyle, but the key thing when starting out is to treat it as a journey of self-discovery, she said. “Learn what you can and can’t do and accept advice and help whether it be technical, practical physical tasks or the all-important planning stage.” In contrast, Meadowfield Luxury Glamping in Warwickshire is part of a working arable farm offering a ‘hands on’ experience to guests who stay in luxuriously appointed safari tents.

Their farm tour, by third generation farmer David Mold, is an education for all ages, especially children who have never seen a combine harvester or those who have no idea where food comes from. His wife, Jules, who was a panellist at The Glamping Show recently, has turned a four-acre meadow, seeded with wildflowers as part of an environmental project, into a thriving glampsite running between April and October.

 

THIS LOTUS BELLE STARGAZER Tent sleeps 10 in a one-acre paddock at Glamping with Llamas

 

“The site is set just off the yard, so guests are close to nature while also getting a close-up view of farm life,” said Jules. Her advice to newbies, as she explained at the show, is to do their homework and take the time to research and draw up a viable plan. And she adds a health warning: “Unless your heart is really set on it, my advice is to think twice,” she said.

“You will spend more, and work harder than you ever imagined although positive feedback is so rewarding and makes the effort worthwhile.” Diversification of this kind was one of the market drivers before Covid, farmers and landowners able to access grant funding from government and other sources to support and enhance rural life.

While this is still the case, there are signs landowners are now partnering with outside investors to monetise the opportunities. They recognise the potential for good return and see glamping as a short-to-medium term project, incorporating an exit strategy into a five-year business plan.

 

PHEW… it’s hot here! Llamas seek the shade on a hot summer’s day

 

CHANGING TRENDS
As the market evolves, this is one of the changing trends noted by The Rural Planning Co, former land agents who specialise in working with new operators. Sophie Blandford, business development and marketing manager, told us: “Ahead of Covid there was real buoyancy and excitement in the market and while that pace has slowed, 2021 was a fantastically successful year because of the ongoing uncertainty of overseas travel which boosted the ‘staycation’.

“The staycation market looks set to stay although popular coastal areas and areas of outstanding natural beauty are becoming saturated. When it comes to applying for planning permission, many local authorities will be keen to capitalise on the tourist pound. The consumer will vote with their feet in a crowded market so providing options in less obvious places is probably where the best opportunity lies at the current time.”

 

Hotels, holiday and caravan parks and even historic houses are getting in on the act, likely to generate even more competition in the future as they have their own traditional audience and are located away from the hustle and bustle of those saturated areas. “On the positive side, there is plenty of room for creativity and good return on investment, as long as the proposal is based on sound planning and in-depth research.” added Sophie.