British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards

British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards

Allendale

Allendale

Good environmental management takes planning and one park that has taken this idea to heart – and benefited from doing it well – is Allendale Caravan Park in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Every year the owners of this small park take the time to produce an Environmental Assessment which is used to measure progress, to record events and to set out an Environmental Management Plan for the forthcoming year.

"My background is in the electrical industry, where I worked for 14 years," says owner Verona Woodhouse, explaining the motivation behind the park’s environmental management efforts. "As part of my work, I saw an environmental management plan for improving a power station, it was such a fantastic document that when I got my own business I tried to create my own version."

The most recent edition of the park’s assessment sets out in detail the past year’s environmental achievements and details plans for how they will be built upon. It also catalogues all the wildlife that has been spotted on the park – the ecological benchmark against which the Woodhouses gauge their success.

"We update the plan in the Spring and make any necessary changes to its format," says Verona. "For example, last year we re-structured it to meet the new criteria of the David Bellamy Awards. We also try to have a key project every year. In 2008 we had children making bee hotels and put then up in the park and we put in a pond."

According to Verona, although putting the plan together does take time, it has two main benefits: first it allows the park to see what has been achieved and, second, it allows the park team to see what resources they will be need for the year ahead and to plan accordingly. "We have put in almost 80 new trees and it is great to see how things build up," says Verona. "Putting what we do down in black and white, gives us the spur to keep improving."

Allendale