British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards

British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards
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PARK GREENS THE BONNIE BANKS OF LOCH LOMOND

Loch Lomond Holiday Park offers stunning panoramic views across the bonnie banks of the famous loch. It’s the perfect location for relaxing in amongst the splendour of the mountains, or as a base for exploring the many interesting nearby sights, walks and historic viewpoints. Part of the Argyll Holidays group, the park is also a recently promoted Gold winner in the David Bellamy Award Scheme and is committed to doing everything it can for wildlife and the natural environment.

“Our overall environmental goals are to maintain a balance with the natural environment whilst growing the holiday park,” say Managers Andrew Campbell and Emily Davies. “In essence, we work to dovetail the park into the natural environment, mitigating any impact the business has on the environment and enhancing biodiversity within the park.”

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Among the recent work that the park has done for wildlife is the implementation of a woodland management plan and a range of bee-friendly initiatives, including grass and wild flower management to ensure that bees and other pollinators have the forage plants they need to thrive. Bee hotels have also been set up to give bees somewhere to live and woodpiles have been stacked around the park to provide habitats for invertebrates, reptiles and other animals.

This work has required significant investment from the park, including employing environmental consultants to give advice on the best way forward and using staff resources to implement their recommendations. That said, implementing the park’s wild flower regime, which has involved cutting back on ‘cutting back’, has saved time and fuel.

All this work has had significant benefits. According to Andrew and Emily, the park is more environmentally friendly than it was two years ago, its biodiversity has been enhanced and there is a wider range of wildlife for visitors to the park to see. The park is also more aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and seasonal changes have been enhanced due to the environmentally-sensitive management.

“Guests can walk through the park on a managed path network and get up close and engage with nature,” they explain. “Seating within our woodland allows guests to lose themselves in the tranquility of the natural environment. This means that when people visit they can be at one with the natural world. They can also enjoy their holiday safe in the knowledge that the park they are visiting is managed with the health of the environment in mind.”

Loch Lomond’s commitment to wildlife is mirrored in its commitment to becoming more sustainable and reducing its environmental footprint. This is shown through the park’s commitment to recycling and through the work it is doing to reduce energy use by employing high-spec insulation, thermostat controls on radiators, energy-saving lighting and movement-sensitive light switches. Water use is also being reduced through the use of devices such as auto-off and aeriated taps. In addition, the park is also committed to ensuring that everything it buys in is as environmentally friendly as possible. Its washing machines even have weight sensors, which reduce the amount of chemicals used per wash.

“Determination and commitment are paramount,” say Andrew and Emily, explaining the factors that have helped them succeed and get a Gold Award. “It is also extremely important to keep learning. To that end, we are in the process of obtaining a foundation degree through Bournemouth University and Kensington Maurward College that focuses on managing biodiversity in tourism parks. The knowledge we gain will be passed on to staff and visitors on the park.”

Andrew and Emily also underline the fact that it is extremely important that all stakeholders of the park buy into the environmentally friendly ethos - from Director to staff at the chalk face. “Every link in the chain needs to be connected for it to run smoothly,” they say.

They also sing the praises of the David Bellamy scheme. “We apply the ethos of the scheme to all aspects of our park management,” they explain. “We dovetail the scheme into our woodland and wildlife management plans, highlight the scheme to guests and ensure staff are proud of being part of it. Each year, our assessor’s comments underpin the future ‘green and sustainable’ development of the park and give us a target to aim for. This dovetails nicely into our overall annual plans for development and growth.”

So has going green helped the business? “It is a fact that people will always choose ethical practices if they are available and therefore a green ethos gives us a definite marketing benefit,” say Andrew and Emily. “Feedback from the guests and visitors is positive and complimentary regarding the way that the park enhances the natural environment and it is clear that people come to visit, and return to visit again, because they love being in amongst nature.”

And what of the future? Andrew and Emily are not about to rest on their laurels. “We feel,” they say, “that whilst the main factors of environmental management, such as grassland management, are in place, managing the park for wildlife and sustainability is a continuous journey as the park grows and becomes more successful.”

Click here to find out more about Loch Lomond

Signposting link to Play Your Part page
We aim to strike the right balance between the environment, people and making a profit