British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards

British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards
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News & Events

News and Events

2017 awards announced

October 24, 2017

All of the 580+ parks that took part in this year’s David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme (DBCAS) are now receiving notification of the judges’ decisions. As in past years, the 2017 awards demonstrate that parks across the country are working tirelessly for the environment, putting in all sorts of new resource-saving initiatives and leading the way as green businesses in their communities. At the same time, they are all giving holiday makers the chance to choose a greener choice of holiday – one that gets them closer to nature.

Among the innovative work that parks have put in place over the last year are bird watching set-ups that include live streaming cameras, new wildlife ponds, conservation gardens and wonderful wildflower meadows. Parks have also been running wildlife activity days for their guests, creating new facilities to allow those with disabilities to enjoy the great outdoors and working in partnership with local conservation groups to look after protected areas and nationally important species.

Among the other highlights of this year’s awards is the work that parks have done to plant the nectar and pollen-rich flowers that bees need, as part of the DBCAS’ on-going tie-up with the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA). This is now in its third year and was more popular than ever, with a record number of parks signing up and doing their bit for bees.

New for 2017 has been the DBCAS’ Hedge Habitat initiative. This has seen scheme assessors working with parks to highlight the importance of hedges and to look at ways to boost their value for wildlife. All parks that proved they understand why hedges matter have been given a hedge habitat badge. Overall, many hundreds of miles of wildlife-friendly hedgerows are being managed on parks in the scheme – a final figure will be revealed soon. The hedge badge is the first of five habitat badges that parks can win – next year the focus will be wildflowers, so parks are now being encouraged to get planning for a wildflower-rich 2018.

As you’ll see if you follow the DBCAS Twitter feed (@BellamyParks), award winners have already been using social media and local press to spread the word about their awards – including proudly displaying the logos of the main DBCAS award, the Honey Bee Friendly Badge and the new (rather wonderful) Hedgerow Habitat badge. Congratulations to everyone for all their hard work!

Summer sees first crop of park assessments

June 15, 2017

It’s an exciting time for everyone involved in the David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme with assessors starting to head out to parks and the first reports set to come in. It’s always really inspiring to see what everyone has been up to and to get news of all the innovative projects that have been put in place.

We’re having a focus on hedgerows in 2017. Already we’re getting some great feedback about how parks have been making their hedges and boundaries more valuable for wildlife. Some of the hedge plants that have been put in include Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Holy, Spindle, Hornbeam, Hazel, Alder, Buckthorn, Dog Rose, Crab Apple, White & Black Byrony and Wild Clematis.

As we’re now into summer, you may be looking for some wildlife activities to get your guests involved in. On place for good ideas is the Wildlife Trusts. During the whole of June they are encouraging people to ‘go wild for 30 days’ and have a pack you can download full of good ideas to help people connect with nature.

Another great source of ideas is the RSPB’s Wild Challenge. The Wild Challenge provides 24 fun activities – from building a hedgehog café to taking a flower foray. They’re all designed to give kids, adults and families the chance to help and experience nature. Full details are available here.

Have a great summer – and remember to Go Green on a David Bellamy award-winning park.

Hedgerows key focus for 2017

March 17, 2017

Although it’s only just spring, parks are already thinking about this year’s David Bellamy Award scheme and what they’re going to do for the environment in 2017.

This year the scheme is having a special focus on hedgerows – highlighting the work that parks are doing to create beautiful hedge habitats that benefit hundreds of species, from dormice to butterflies. Parks are being asked to do their bit to boost the biodiversity of their hedgerows and win a hedge habitat badge for their efforts.

2017 is also the third year we’ve run our Honey Bee Friendly Park scheme with the British Beekeepers Association – hundreds of parks have already got involved and got planting to provide the forage crops that bees and other pollinators need to survive.

Other highlights for the year ahead include:

• Twitter is going strong – follow us @BellamyParks

• We’ve also got an Instagram Page (#bellamyparks) – why not use it to tag pictures of the wildlife you find on a Bellamy Park?

• We’re also promoting the RSPB’s Wild Challenge – this is an inspirational on-line resource of wildlife activities click here for details.

Here’s to the greenest year yet!

2016 Awards Out Now

October 9, 2016

Parks all over the country are now getting news of their David Bellamy Award for 2016/17. The great news is that of the 586 parks involved in the scheme this year, 453 have made Gold, 89 Silver and 44 Bronze. These awards have been based on the reports received from our expert assessors – they highlight how much good work is being done by parks from the West Country right up to the Highlands.

This is the second year we’ve run our Honey Bee Friendly initiative and the great bee-friendly news is that almost 350 of the parks in the scheme have been given Honey Bee Friendly status. This means they’ve put in the forage plants that bees need to survive, have spread the word about the importance of bee conservation and have worked to give bees a home. Many other parks have started on this work by taking the Honey Bee Pledge – so hopefully, as the work they’ve put in bares fruit, we’ll see even more parks becoming Honey Bee Friendly in 2017.

The range of other work that parks have put in for the environment is inspirational. From the creation of new wildflower meadows to the creation of new native hedgerows and woodlands, parks have been busy creating new habitats for wildlife. They’ve been leaving areas of grassland to grow wild, leaving brambles in place to provide a place for animals to shelter and birds to feed and digging new wildlife ponds to provide places for amphibians to breed.

At the same time, they’ve been working hard to help guests appreciate and learn about the wildlife and countryside around them. Putting in new interpretation, signage, wildlife trails and walks. They have also been developing great new programmes of wildlife activities, with a number of parks creating dedicated wildlife information and event centres.

Sustainability and good neighbourliness haven’t been forgotten either – parks across the country have been putting in new renewable energy systems (bio-mass has been a particular favourite this year) and have been working hard to help their guests and residents save energy, conserve water and re-use and recycle more waste. They’ve also been linking up with local wildlife groups and getting their local communities and schools involved in the conservation work they’ve been doing – one park has even taken its bees to its local school to show the children how amazing and important these insects are.

All in all, 2016 has been another amazing year for all the parks in the scheme. Well done to everyone involved!

2016 Scheme looking like a winner

July 1, 2016

It’s our favourite time of the year here at the David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme. The summer holidays are almost upon us, the holiday home, camping and caravanning parks that are taking part this year are all working hard to give their guests and residents a wonderful time and our assessors are heading out into the field to look at what participating parks are doing for the environment.

The great new is that interest in the scheme has been high this year with more parks taking part than in 2015. Although it’s early days, the reports that we are getting back from our assessors is that the work that’s being done is of a really high standard, with many of the parks that have already been assessed achieving Gold awards.

This is the second year we are running our Honey Bee Pledge with the British Beekeeepers Association and initial indications are that more parks have decided to take the pledge this year.

Already we’ve had word of bee borders being planted up and fields being transformed from pesticide-sprayed monocultures into wonderful wildflower meadows. Honeysuckle, heather and banks of foxgloves are just some of the pollinator-friendly planting that has been put in. One park has even set up an ‘adopt a bee planter scheme’ whereby guests can look after a planter which has been planted specifically with bee friendly species.

Special areas have been set aside for bee hives, local bee-keepers have been brought in to help and bee hotels have been set up. A good number of parks now have home-grown honey on sale and many other are spreading the word about bee conservation in a wide range of ways - producing leaflets and activity sheets suitable for all ages and putting up signage to let everyone know what they are doing and why.


April 12, 2016

parkdean-holidays-assistant-general-manager-david-marks-with-the-bee-hotel-at-looe-bay4Parkdean is celebrating a string of award wins from the David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme (DBCAS) for helping wildlife, saving resources, and being honey bee friendly.

Of the group’s 24 holiday parks, 18 won gold awards, six won silver, seven were given the new honey bee friendly status, and two won special distinctions for their unique, innovative projects.

One of the gold award winners, Wemyss Bay in Scotland, was celebrating its fifteenth consecutive year of being given this accolade.

Special distinction awards went to Ruda Holiday Park in Devon and Sundrum Castle Holiday Park in Scotland, both of which completed projects highlighting new thinking and inspiring others to protect Britain’s natural environment.

Led by Parkdean’s beach ranger Rose Roberts, Ruda Holiday Park turned its sand dunes, ponds and meadows into classrooms last summer, inviting local primary schools and guests on guided walks, rock pool rambles, beach cleans and bug hunts, participants also enjoyed building bee, bug and reptile hotels.

North of the border at Sundrum Castle Holiday Park, Parkdean employees built a kitchen garden and nursery which they’ve been using for three years and created a greenhouse out of 2,000 plastic bottles collected from customers.

The new plastic greenhouse not only recycles bottles but also saves the park money when they bring plants on from seed at different times of year. The beautiful flowers and plants grown are then used in hanging baskets and beds around the holiday park.

David Bellamy said: “These parks really are role models for green tourism with their amazing range of conservation initiatives which burst with flair and imagination!

“I know that their guests, and especially youngsters, are going to love becoming involved with the many hands-on opportunities they’ve created to discover and explore the natural world.

“Parkdean has shown time after time that business and conservation can be perfect partners to help protect our natural environment, and to add an exciting new dimension to family holidays.”

The new honey bee friendly category DBCA’s introduced in 2015, in association with the British Beekeepers Association, aims to help combat the dramatic decline of the British bee species by recognising organisations who create honey bee havens where bees can access pesticide-free food, shelter and water.

Over one million honey bee hives existed in the UK a century ago but today there are fewer than 300,000 as the population of British honey bees continues to decrease due to the UK’s changing weather, chemicals used in farming and increased land use.

Looe Bay Holiday Park in Cornwall is one of Parkdean’s honey bee friendly parks. The coastal park has increased the volume of wild plants on-park and has more planting planned.

The park’s Sid and Lizzie garden, named after Parkdean’s mascots, is now home to a bee hotel, adding to the garden’s existing collection of homes for animals including a hedgehog house and bug hotel. The holiday park also welcomes nesting bats and woodpeckers.

Families can learn about the importance of bees in Looe Bay’s entertainment programme during guided nature walks and some home-grown produce is used in the park’s kitchen. Holidaymakers are also encouraged to pick herbs from the on park herb garden to use in their own cooking.

Paul Higgins, Parkdean Holidays general manager at Looe Bay Holiday Park said: “We’ve worked hard to make Looe Bay a welcoming and sustainable environment for bees to have access to vital food supplies needed for their survival as well as giving them a place to call home through the addition of our very first bee hotel

“We’re really pleased the David Bellamy Conservation Awards are recognising the importance of this work and we hope to keep adding to the array of plants and wildlife we have on park which we feel adds something extra to the holidays of our visitors.”

For more information, see

David Bellamy Award Parks Find Innovative Ways to Go Green

November 9, 2015

The results are now in for this year’s David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme (DBCAS) which aims to celebrate, support and encourage camping, caravanning and holiday home parks to improve their environmental performance and become havens for wildlife.

Over 560 parks took part in the award scheme, which is run in conjunction with the BH&HPA. Participants came from all regions of Britain – from the southwest up to the highlands of Scotland.

During the summer participating parks were visited by DBCAS assessors. They looked at how the parks were doing against a range of key criteria that cover everything from recycling and rainwater harvesting to hedges and hay meadows. Their assessments formed the basis for the DBCAS’ judges’ deliberations and parks were given either a Gold, Silver or Bronze award based on their performance.

Among the many innovative schemes that parks came up with in 2015, was a project on a park in Cornwall that turned a muddy area of a field (in which farm machinery was getting stuck) into a new wildlife pond that has attracted a wide range of dragonflies and damselflies. Other schemes included a project that saw an old tack room recycled into a new café and community hub that specializes in gluten-free food and a wonderful project on a park in Scotland that saw old delivery pallets, wind-blown trees and other waste building materials such as bricks and slate tuned into a ‘bee hotel’ in the shape of a caravan.

The ingenuity shown by participating parks covered the spectrum from the high- to the low-tech. For example, a park by the sea in the southwest has worked with its Wildlife Ranger to create a mobile phone-based “Dune Detectives’ App” that guides visitors around the beautiful coastal habitat that borders the park. While in Ayreshire, in Scotland, a park has built a wonderful greenhouse out of recycled 2-litre plastic bottles. This has been used to grow wildlife-friendly native plants that have subsequently been used to boost the park’s biodiversity.

The scheme itself saw one major innovation being put in place this year: Parks were asked to make a pledge to do their bit to help Britain’s honey bees, particularly by planting the food crops they need to survive. The new initiative, which is a link-up with the British Beekeepers Association, proved be very popular, with over 140 parks signing up.

The David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme is one of the longest running green tourism awards in the UK. The scheme proper started with a pilot programme in 1996 and the first awards were made in 1997. For more information visit: You can also follow the scheme on Twitter (@BellamyParks)

First fruits of this year’s David Bellamy Awards

September 17, 2015

The end of summer has seen the start of the assessment process for the 2015 David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme. Since the middle of June, the scheme’s assessors have been going out into the field to vet over 560 holiday and home parks on the work they are doing for Britain’s wildlife and environment.

“The first tranche of assessments has already come in,” says Rufus Bellamy, who helps David run the scheme. “Even though it’s early days, we’re already getting some great feedback about what parks are doing – from planting native trees, shrubs and wildflowers and to working with local communities to reduce litter. From what we’ve seen so far, it’s clear that the parks that are involved in the scheme continue to be real forces for positive change in the countryside.”

Among the new initiatives that assessors have highlighted are revamped recycling systems that have led to a drop in rubbish going to landfill, the introduction of solar panels and a biomass boiler to heat a park’s swimming pool and the creation of log piles to provide a valuable new habitat for small mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

This year the award scheme has asked parks to make a pledge to do their bit to help Britain’s honey bees. The new initiative, which is a link-up with the British Beekeepers Association, is proving to be very popular, with over 100 parks signed up.

For example, a park in Cornwall has undertaken a Pollinator Survey which has come up with a ‘top 10’ list of recommendations for what it should do to help bees and other insects. The park is now acting on the results of the survey and is providing more of the forage crops that pollinators need to survive.

The assessors for the David Bellamy scheme are drawn from local wildlife trusts and other local conservation bodies. They look at the steps parks are taking to manage their land as a haven for wildlife, to reduce their use of energy, water and other resources, to reduce, reuse and recycle the waste they produce and to support their local communities.

David Bellamy uses the assessors’ reports (and any comments received from members of the public) to make his awards each year. Three levels of excellence can be achieved: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

The David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme is one of the longest running green tourism awards in the UK. The scheme proper started with a pilot programme in 1996 and the first awards were made in 1997. For more information visit: You can also follow the scheme on Twitter (@BellamyParks)

David Bellamy set to celebrate community-minded parks

July 3, 2015

Hundreds of holiday and residential parks which reach out to their local communities will be put under the spotlight in this year’s David Bellamy Conservation Awards.

With assessments for the 2015 accolade winners now coming in, scheme organiser Rufus Bellamy says he is keen to celebrate parks acting as “good neighbours”.

Early feedback from assessors, he reports, suggests that a whole raft of initiatives are now making a very real difference to many peoples’ lives around the country.

They range from parks opening up their grounds for school nature projects and wildlife discovery walks to those organising litter-picking projects and beach clean-up operations.

Other examples include parks becoming involved with local sports and arts organisations, and even hosting live theatre and musical performances in their grounds.

There are also award-winning parks extending life-line to their local community by having a defibrillator sited on their site with staff specially trained in its use.

But where parks especially excel, says Rufus, is in charity fundraising which provides a massive boost to many good causes, often locally-based, throughout the UK.

Here, comments Rufus, parks have proven themselves to be particularly enterprising with business owners and staff taking part in a host of different sponsored events.

These range from bike rides and marathons to taking on a tough Royal Marine assault course, braving Europe’s longest zip-wire, and driving an old banger across Europe.

One park donates tents abandoned by guests to a charity working in Africa, and another provides free holidays to needy families for every one hundred bookings it receives.

“The David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme does, of course, put a major emphasis on how parks work to protect their natural environment,” said Rufus Bellamy.

“However, the scheme also highlights those which engage with their local community because this, in our view, demonstrates that the park is taking a holistic view of its business.

“This year, our assessors have uncovered many fantastic new initiatives which we’ll be using to underline just how many ways there are for parks to reach out,” said Rufus.

The names of the 500-plus parks expected to receive David Bellamy Conservation Awards this year at gold, silver and bronze levels will be announced in September.

Parks in harmony to give bees a chance

May 12, 2015

Honey bee numbers are set to blossom on holiday parks this year thanks to a new initiative to create a national network of honey bee-friendly park sanctuaries.

The ambitious project has been launched by the David Bellamy Conservation Award scheme in conjunction with the British Beekeepers Association.

Many bee species have seen dramatic declines in recent years with experts blaming the increasing scarcity of food resources and nesting habitats.

Parks will be helping to address this by growing additional flowering plants, and especially those which provide valuable nectar and pollen in the spring and autumn.

According to Rufus Bellamy, son of the world-famous botanist, holiday parks that plant and manage the right flora can provide a vital lifeline for honey bees:

“Holiday parks are in a position to provide a wide variety of forage crops that, if chosen carefully, can provide food for bees for a long period of time,” he said.

“Parks can also provide places for bees to nest. In fact, a surprising number of parks are already getting into beekeeping, often in conjunction with their local beekeepers association branch.

“Butterflies and other pollinators will also benefit when a holiday park commits to increasing its stock of bee-friendly flowers and shrubs,” added Rufus.

More than 100 holiday parks, all participants in the David Bellamy Conservation Award, have so far taken the “honey bee pledge” and now form a network stretching from Scotland to Cornwall.

Rufus points out that parks making efforts to help the beleaguered bee can also add another fascinating dimension to the experience of their holiday guests:

“The plight of Britain’s bee has been well publicised, but many people don’t understand the real reasons for their decline, or what they can do to help,” said Rufus.

“That’s why another important dimension of our work with the British Beekeepers Association is to help parks enlighten guests about the important role they can play.

“Interpreted walks around the park and its bee-friendly planting schemes can be used to explain why foraging is so important for bees.

“Our hope is that many holidaymakers will use the knowledge to make their own gardens more welcoming to bees and other pollinating insects.

“Some parks are even selling bee-friendly seed mixtures to give guests a head start,” said Rufus who is a wildlife advisor to parks taking part in the David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme.

By the end of the year, he added, it’s hoped that almost every county in the British Isles will be able to boast at least one honey-bee friendly park.

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