British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards

British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards
Main image

News & Events

News and Events

Wild ideas win latest David Bellamy park accolades

September 27, 2013

More than 600 holiday parks where wild ideas flourish and take root are honoured in the latest round of the David Bellamy Conservation Awards.

Announced this autumn, the 2013/14 winners from across the UK mark the sixteenth anniversary of the award scheme started by Britain’s best-known botanist.

The awards highlight parks where successful efforts to protect the natural world produce real gains for both the environment and for holidaymakers.

Wildlife safaris, bird hides, nature trails, butterfly gardens, species-rich woodlands, and beautiful wildflower meadows are just some of the features on winning parks.

According to environmental adviser Rufus Bellamy, who helps his father administer the awards, the scheme was always intended to encourage parks to take bold and imaginative conservation steps:

“Many holiday parks in Britain, particularly those in rural areas, are blessed with abundant wildlife, and their owners are generally mindful of the need to manage their natural surroundings with sensitivity,” he said.

“The David Bellamy Conservation Awards encourage them to broaden their existing practices even further by adopting new initiatives to make their parks real havens for wildlife and to help protect the wider environment.

“The opportunities vary from business to business, but even a park in an urban setting can embrace measures which will make a real difference.”

“As well as being mini-nature reserves, the best parks are also leaders in terms of the steps they take to be more sustainable. For example, many have installed the latest renewable energy systems, aim for 100% recycling and buy, use and promote sustainably-produced, local food.”

Parks wishing to enter for an award must, as part of the evaluation process, allow all environmental aspects of their business to be audited by an assessor. The assessor’s brief is extremely wide ranging, and includes judging how well the park works within the community to make local life more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

The awards, emphasises Rufus, are as far from a box-ticking exercise as it’s possible to get, and the evidence of a park’s efforts will often be obvious for visitors to see:

“A big benefit of this scheme is that holidaymakers can often enjoy an extra dimension to their stay by choosing a park which offers a chance to get closer to nature.

“There are parks where you can build willow sculptures and put up bird boxes, gather herbs, join a ladybird hunt, or just enjoy an interpreted nature trail.

“David Bellamy has always described parks as important outdoor classrooms, and that’s why you will often find a special emphasis on activities which children can enjoy, said Rufus.

Your Voice Counts

April 26, 2012

It’s another exciting year for the David Bellamy Conservation Awards with over 620 parks from all corners of the country currently in the scheme.

At the moment all of the parks are getting ready for the Summer season and our assessors are preparing for their park visits. It’s therefore a good time to remind anyone who is thinking of visiting one of our award-winning parks that you too have an important role to play.

Remember that you can let us know what you think about any park you visit – please use the form on the contact page to tell us what you love (and if there’s anything you’re not so happy about). Your voice counts – so we look forward to hearing from you.

A Message From David Bellamy

May 25, 2011

Hello to everyone who visits this site. I am blogging to let you know about the award scheme and to highlight why it makes sense to visit parks that are award winners.

The scheme started off over thirteen years ago when I realised that the best parks out there were doing really great things for the environment. It’s not hard to see why – a lot of parks have loads of green space and, if this is managed properly, it can be a real oasis for wildlife. However, what made me go ‘Wow’ at the time was the fact that this was actually happening all over the place – parks were not just thinking about the bottom line, but were investing in their most important resource: Biodiversity. They where planting trees, re-instating hedges, creating wildlife meadows and wetlands. Indeed a hundred and one other things to put the wild flowers and other wildlife back where they used be when I first went camping. All I had to do was pat them on the back and so the Bellamy awards were born!

You can read more about how it works by exploring this site. Once you’ve taken a look at what we do, why not think about using the scheme to plan your next holiday? I always find that there is nothing better in the dead of winter than planning a break for when the weather improves, and you can use the search engines at either ukparks.com or at pitchup.com search engines to look at the Gold, Silver and Bronze parks in the scheme. Visit one and you can be guaranteed a great green holiday on a park that is committed to really improving its environmental performance and to being a good green neighbour.

Let me just whet your appetite by pointing out just a few of the highlight projects that the scheme shone a spotlight on this year. Take Ross Park in Devon. Here the park staff have got dug in and created a wonderful walled organic vegetable garden from what was a weedy wilderness area that had limited wildlife value. Or how about Highfields Park in Lincolnshire? This park has turned about 60 acres of poor-quality arable into a wildlife rich grassland area. Its staff have also thinned out a viewing area in its large patch of woodland, put up brash piles to provide cover for animals and installed hanging-log bird feeders and salt blocks for deer – perfect for anyone who wants to go wildlife watching on their hols.

Parks aren’t just busy boosting biodiversity, they are also busy saving energy, water and other resources. Some are even hard at work spreading the green message. Take the Earth Day event which has been run for the past three years at Deepdale Backpackers & Camping in North Norfolk. It takes place on the 22nd April and in 2010, the park had about 150 stalls run by a whole range of green groups and businesses. Over 10,000 people came to visit. Deepdale hopes to repeat this success in 2011.

One of the complaints that is often levelled at the caravan industry by environmentalists is that it encourages people to drive their cars. One park that has taken an innovative step to offset such criticism is Clippesby Hall in East Anglia. Here, staff encourage guests to pledge to spend car-free days while staying at the park. Those that do pledge get a native tree planted in their name, or, if they pledge to go ‘car-free’ for more than one day, they get a bird box put up on the site.

As you can see, parks are up to a lot of really fantastic green work. Why not search them out on pitchup.com and get a bit of ‘Wow’ yourself on your next holiday?

Why not choose a Bellamy Park?

In 2010, more than 620 holiday parks received a David Bellamy Conservation Award for the work they’ve done to the protect and enhance Britain’s natural environment.

The variety of work being done by these parks is phenomenal – from the creation of new wildlife meadows and woodlands to the construction of solar-powered shower blocks and energy-efficient lodges made out of recycled plastic, parks are active across the country.

Amongst the award winners you’ll find a wide range of parks: From peaceful, hideaway places, where you’ll be able to enjoy a real ‘back-to-nature’ holiday experience; to larger ‘leisure parks’, where you and your family will be able to enjoy more facilities, along with the knowledge that the park you’re visiting is committed to environmental excellence.

Whichever one you choose you can pat yourself on the back, because you can be sure that you’ve made a greener choice – and that you’ll have a holiday full of natural enjoyment.

As you can see a David Bellamy Park is the perfect choice if you are interested in getting closer to Britain’s wildlife and in supporting parks that are doing their bit to reduce their environmental impact and boost the biodiversity of their sites.

Assessors Out in the Field

July 7, 2010

Our Assessors are currently out in the field carrying out the 2010 round of assessments. The first reports are now coming in and initial indications are that the parks involved in the David Bellamy Scheme continue to improve and find new, innovative ways to help Britain’s wildlife.

2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity, so it is great to see that Award participants are playing their part and doing vital work for Britain’s environment.

We’ve got a lot of new parks in the scheme this year, so it will be interesting to see how they do. New Awards will be made in October, so keep your fingers crossed that your favourite park does well.

Remember we need as many people as possible to get in touch and tell us what they think about the parks they visit – so if you’ve got something you’d like to report just get in touch.

2009 Round-up

December 23, 2009

It’s the end of 2009, so time for a round-up of the year’s news. Overall, it’s been a year of consolidation. The majority of parks in the scheme have carried on steadily improving their environmental performance – responding both to new ideas and to the public’s steadily increasing expectations about the performance of businesses in terms of environmental management and sustainability. We’ve also refined our park briefing notes and award-scheme website and hope that participating parks see a general ratcheting up of the quality and scope of the information and advice they receive.

Numbers Hold Steady

One excellent piece of news is that the number of parks taking part in the scheme have remained strong. Speaking to owners and managers earlier in the year at the BH&HPA conference in Blackpool, it was clear that parks are very happy to stick with the scheme and see it as an important part of their environmental management work.

One of the most exciting developments this year is that we have had over fifty new parks joining the scheme. A good number have come in at the bronze or silver level, while some have leapt straight in a Gold. This spread of achievement amongst new entries is great news as its shows that, while exceptionally ‘green’ parks see the awards as worthwhile, more and more parks are realizing that they do not have to be Gold to get something from the scheme. Indeed, talking to park owners, it is clear that becoming a ‘Bellamy Park’ is particularly useful for any enterprise that is just starting out on the environmental improvement route – it offers an assessment of where the park is and helps managers and staff map out a route for improvement. The value of this is shown by many of the parks that have been in the scheme for a while and which have used it to help them move their environmental performance from bronze, to silver and eventually up to Gold over the years.

New Assessors

Not only have we had lots of new parks joining the scheme this year, we’ve also recruited a number of new assessors, mostly from local wildlife trusts (as has always been the case in the past). This has allowed us to spread the workload amongst those assessors that have had a pretty big patch to cover (Scottish assessors take a bow). It has also allowed us to get a ‘new eye’ on some parks that have had the same assessor for a number of years – not only does this give us a new perspective on how parks are performing, it also means that we’ve been able to give the parks a new perspective on how they can improve their performance in each of the three main areas assessed by the scheme: good neighbourliness, sustainability’ and ecological management.