British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards

British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards

Working for Wildlife

Working for Wildlife

With the British countryside under ever increasing pressure and with many species declining in number, it is becoming more vital than ever for your park to manage its green space to help wildlife. Even the smallest parks can work miracles by making wildlife welcome.

The overall goal of your work should be two fold:

  • To create a park that gives your guests or residents an environmentally rich and beautiful place to enjoy and explore.
  • To create an oasis for wildlife that is home to as wide a variety, and as large a number, of plants and animals as possible.

To see if you are doing the right things, ask yourself two questions:

  • 1. If your park is already blessed with natural or semi-natural habitats, such as established woodland or riverbanks, are you working to really maximise the quantity and variety of wildlife they contain?
  • 2. If your park has few natural features, are you doing everything you can to create places for wildlife to live, feed and breed, such as bird boxes, new hedges, wildflower meadows or water features?

If you can answer ‘yes’ (or even ‘a little’) to either of these then, you are already heading in the right direction!

Overall you should be aiming for a good balance between pitches, grassland areas, formal planting and wilder areas. You should also be aiming for a layout in which caravans and lodges are well-spaced and well integrated with landscape features and planting. Think also about the ‘water permeability’ of your park. Try and keep hard standing and tarmac to a minimum to allow rainwater to drain away naturally. Use permeable substances (such as gravel or honeycomb paving) under caravans and for car parking areas wherever possible. You can also use roadside swales and other ‘soft landscaping’ features to channel rainwater off roads (and to capture it for future re-use).

If you are doing the right things then you should see your park becoming a richer, more interesting place for both wildlife and humans; you should also see the variety and number of plants and animals that visit and live on your park increase. Keeping tabs on this through regular wildlife surveys will really let you know how you are doing – as will all the positive comments you get from your visitors or residents!

More information:

  • There are 47 local Wildlife Trusts across the whole of the UK. They are a great source of information on ecological enhancement and management and should be able to help you conduct a wildlife survey on your park. See www.wildlifetrusts.org. Click here for an article contining advice from Wildlife Trust experts on how parks can work to help wildlife.
  • The Conservation Volunteers group is an excellent source of information on the more practical side of ecological management and a potential source of person power. See www.tcv.org.uk.
  • For more information on local flora and a list of reputable wildflower seed suppliers. See www.floralocale.org.
  • Click here for an in depth article on boosting biodiversity on your park..
  • Click here for an additional article on the same theme..
  • Click here for an in-depth article on habitat creation..
  • Click here for an in-depth article on planting for wildlife..
  • Click here for an in depth article on helping bees on your park..
  • Click here for an in depth article on helping birds on your park..
  • Click here for an article discussing managing a park to encourage wildlife, complete with examples of what parks are doing.
  • Click here for the top ten ways to attract wildlife on your park and here for an article looking at the significance of the 2013 State of Nature report to parks.
  • Click here for an article discussing park owners and managers' responsibilites to protect wildlife.
  • Click here for an indepth article on 'living roofs', reed beds and sewage treatment.
  • Click here for an indepth article on how you can help conserve Britain's bees.
  • Click here to find out more about our Honey Bee Friendly Park Project.