British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards

British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards

White Acres

White Acres

Getting people switched on to the environment is one of the most important things a park can do for conservation and one park that is getting the next generation in touch with nature in a really imaginative way is White Acres Holiday Park in Cornwall.

This park gets lots of families staying and has created a vegetable and fruit garden to enable youngsters to get involved in food production and to make the link between the food in the ground and the food on their plates.

"The project started with a polytunnel at the back of our offices and then expanded," says Jo the park’s Entertainments Manager, who explains that the scheme allows children to be involved at every stage of the growing process, from planting through to harvesting. Once kids have picked the peppers and tomatoes and other foodstuffs that the garden grows, they can then go over to the park’s restaurant and use them to create delicious pizzas and other food.

The park runs two or three sessions for kids in the garden every week, from late March onwards. These sessions can attract anything up to 30 kids at a time, however if kids want to come into the garden by themselves they are welcome.

"The garden is open all the time and children can come in to do weeding and to help themselves to vegetables when they are ready," Jo explains. "The kids love it and get nice and grubby. It is amazing how few kids come from homes with a vegetable garden and how many don’t realise that food comes out of the ground."

According to all those involved, the project really makes youngsters aware of where their food comes from, the work involved in producing it and how a meal is produced from the raw materials. The park also does a range of other environmental activities for children, including nature rambles and bug hunts.