Press Release 22/10/2013
Cliff-top park is peak achiever, says David Bellamy
A cliff-top holiday park in Skipsea, East Yorkshire, Skirlington Leisure Park is among the highest achievers in Britain when it comes to providing eco-friendly holidays, according to celebrity botanist David Bellamy. Family-owned Skirlington Leisure Park was named this month as the winner of the prestigious David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level.
Professor Bellamy said that the team behind the tourist board five-star park has created an environment where wildlife and the natural world are given the same VIP treatment as guests.The award recognises the “amazing achievements” of the Goodwin family who, just over 50 years ago, first began welcoming campers and caravanners onto part of their farm.The move was made by Ben Goodwin who, at 80, is still involved in its day-to-day running.
Ben co-manages the park with his eldest son Simon who, along with his brothers Christopher and Richard, also help look after the five other East Yorkshire parks now owned by the business. A raft of different green initiatives contributed to Skirlington Leisure Park receiving its award following an audit by David Bellamy’s Conservation Foundation.
Despite its cliff-top position and salty air, the family has successfully planted thousands of indigenous trees and shrubs across the 70-acres grounds of the park. These, said Professor Bellamy, provided invaluable nesting and feeding resources for the large number of resident and migrating birds drawn to the area. Extensive tracts of land throughout the park are also kept free of chemical fertilisers and allowed to flourish undisturbed, providing a safe haven for flora and fauna. Interpretation boards encourage holidaymakers to identify the many different types of wildlife and wild flowers which flourish here, and also in the “mini-beast” gardens recently created. Professor Bellamy applauded too the way in which wildlife habitats have been established by the park, including bird boxes and the log-piles which encourage insect life. Skirlington Leisure Park’s fishing lake is also carefully managed to ensure that it remains a magnet for a wide range of aquatic life, including dragonflies. Also coming in for praise are the many steps taken by the park to reduce its carbon footprint, and to minimise its impact on the environment.
Measures include high-efficiency solar panels and air recycling systems to cut the energy used by its leisure centre, and the bio-treatment of waste water. Even the benches around the park are made from recycled material, and illumination is shielded to minimise light pollution and to allow visitors to enjoy the night sky. Skirlington Leisure Park has over 700 privately owned holiday homes plus a small number for rent, and pitches for the owners of touring caravans, motorhomes and tents. Its many family-friendly features include a pool, live entertainment, amusement and sports facilities plus plenty of children’s activities.
But it is the park’s engagement with the surrounding community which won it special praise from David Bellamy, and helped it secure the top gold accolade in his award scheme. As well as financially assisting projects connected with the local school, church and village hall, the parks owners and staff undertake regular fundraising projects for good causes. Organisations on the receiving end of thousands of pounds of donations annually include Hornsea Inshore Lifeboat Rescue, Yorkshire Air Ambulance, and Dove House hospice.
Leah Goodwin, who works with her husband Simon at the park, said everyone was delighted that the business had been considered worthy of the top gold David Bellamy award: ”Being from a farming heritage, the family has always managed the land with careful consideration given to the natural environment, and the park is an extension of these practices,” she said. ”I hope the award will go some way to benefiting other local tourism providers by throwing the national spotlight on the what a wonderful place East Yorkshire is for a holiday,” added Leah.
More information about the park is available at www.skirlington.com
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