1 Highlands End
The clifftop location of Highlands End, on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, gives panoramic views. Five-star facilities include a leisure club, pitch and putt, bar and restaurant, and live music and entertainment, but that’s not at the expense of the environment. It has achieved a David Bellamy Gold Award for 19 years! The 1.8-mile nature trail takes in a bee bank, bug hotels, bird boxes and Mower’s Mead Wildlife Lake. Initiatives include electric car charging points, water butts and solar panels.
2 Tyddyn Isaf Caravan & Camping Park
Last year’s Top 100 Regional Winner for Wales puts conservation at the heart of absolutely everything it does, earning it Gold Award status. Rabbits, hedgehogs, red squirrels and more all make this their home. Tyddyn Isaf has its own solar panel field, powering the main building and other facilities. Easy access to the beach and plenty of walking and cycling trails means there’s little reason to take your vehicle off-site.
3 Back of Beyond
With woods, heathland, lakes and a river on site, Back of Beyond is a refuge for a variety of wildlife including dragonflies, birds, fish, heron and otters. Bat boxes and bird feeding stations have also been dotted around the site. The area around the lakes of the Gold Award-winning park has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and it’s also our 2020 Top 100 Regional Winner for Dorset, and Best Green site.
4 Tudor Caravan Park
If you are just a five-minute walk from Slimbridge Wetland Centre, you will want to be sure your green credentials are in order, and this attention to detail has won Tudor Caravan Park a Gold Award every year since 1999. The campsite is a Honey Bee Friendly Park and has also won Wildflower Habitat and Hedgerows Awards, recognising its achievements in extending the flowering season with a buddleia bed and wild borders on site boundaries. Wildlife is already present because of the campsite’s location by the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, but log piles, bird boxes, insect houses and planting thousands of local hedge and tree species encourage even more. The site only uses biodegradable cleaning products and harvests rainwater.
5 Hillcroft Park
Last year’s Top 100 Sites Guide Regional Winner for the North-West has plenty of accolades, including David Bellamy Special Distinction and Gold Awards. The special distintion was for the facilities block, built using stone from an old farm building, and the most eco-friendly showers and toilets available at the time. New plantings and great recycling systems at Hillcroft Park helped to secure the Gold Award.
6 Harford Bridge Park
Harford Bridge Park works with the Dartmoor Charter for Sustainable Tourism to give guests the best possible experience, while keeping its environmental impact low. Located beside the River Tavy, it attracts lots of wildlife, including hedgehogs and many species of bird. The land is managed so some areas remain wild, and the site employs energy-saving technology.
7 Resipole Farm Holiday Park
On the edge of a sea loch in the Western Highlands, Resipole has plenty of wildlife. The aim is to keep the site’s impact low – water from a burn on-site is treated with UV and filters, all of the taps and showers are push-button controlled, much of the lighting is LED, with sensor controls, and cleaning is with eco-friendly products. Tree planting, nest boxes and deadwood piles encourage local wildlife and flora.
8 Woodhill Park
Woodhill Park‘s clifftop location at Runton on the Norfolk coast has meant sourcing salt-tolerant native trees to create a natural barrier between its main building and the road. Grass areas are allowed to grow long and there is a large wildflower meadow. Guest involvement in raising awareness includes a programme of family-friendly events. The campsite is also served by the local Coasthopper bus service.
9 Whitehill Country Park
Whitehill‘s beautiful setting in 40 acres of Devon countryside means it already hosts a vast array of wildlife, and about a quarter of those acres is fine ancient woodland, enriching it even more with native wildflowers. The woods here are carefully managed, as are several areas within the park that are left to nature. This produces wildflowers and attracts insects, bees, small mammals and birds, and gives Whitehill accreditation as a Bellamy Bee Friendly Park and 5 in 5 Hedgerows and Wildflower accreditation, too.
Maps of walking and cycling trails on and around the site are available to encourage guests to get outdoors and enjoy the natural environment, and the site organises activities such as children’s bushcraft and archery. Meanwhile, the farm’s stables and other buildings now house a bar and cafe, a craft centre and a shop selling locally sourced produce.
10 Warcombe Farm
Anglers in the family will enjoy a stay at Devon’s Warcombe Farm, which has a sizeable lake for coarse-fishing, for the exclusive use of guests and stocked with carp, tench, rudd and roach. In addition, the park boasts 14 acres of woodland; this and the lake provide a fabulous habitat for the wide variety of wildlife you can find here. Among the mammals regularly sighted are deer, hares, badgers, squirrels and weasels; bird life includes a pair of buzzards, herons, skylarks, goldfinches, house martins and swallows, as well as the various wildfowl that populate the lake. Insects abound, as do newts, frogs and toads. The campsite has also established a nature trail, with information boards about the local wildlife.
Ballyness, Northern Ireland, is the ideal base for exploring the Giant’s Causeway and this dramatic coastline. From April to September, you won’t have to turn on an engine to visit any of it – just board the Causeway Rambler at the site to get as far as Carrick-a-Rede, Portrush and Coleraine.
On-site, three ponds are home to wildfowl, herons and other birdlife, as well as an otter. Grass areas have been set aside to encourage frogs, with a wooded wetland for wildlife. The on-site well provides water for maintenance work and the solar panel farm supplies power. Street lighting is from LEDs placed low to the ground, to reduce light pollution.
12 Llanungar Caravan and Camping
The touring area of this small – less than two acres – open site in the Pembrokeshire National Park has well-drained grass pitches around the edge of the field, keeping the centre free for children to play.
There’s no bar or clubhouse at Llanungar; green spaces are the attraction at this Bee Friendly Park. Lighting is kept to a minimum to enjoy the night sky. There are buses to the nearby beaches and coastal path.
13 Tehidy Holiday Park
Visit this delightful site in the heart of Cornwall and you’ll see the focus is on keeping things natural – hedges are left ragged, grass isn’t mown to within an inch of its life, stone walls are home to insects and there are plenty of trees. A walk around the site will reveal bug hotels, bird boxes, water butts, and wood carvings by a local sculptor. These efforts have earned Tehidy many David Bellamy Conservation Gold Awards.
14 Trewan Hall
At Trewan Hall, the gardens and woodlands are home to a large variety of plants and trees, as well as owls, and a wildflower meadow.
The Cornish site is respectful to its agricultural heritage, with plant selection appropriate rather than ornamental, and careful woodland management. Use of green cleaning products, low-energy lighting and solar-powered heating all add to its eco-friendly credentials.
15 Old Oaks Touring Park
Although Old Oaks Touring Park, near Glastonbury in Somerset, is no longer part of the David Bellamy Conservation Scheme, it won’t surprise you to learn the Best Green Site in our 2019 Top 100 Sites Guide has achieved 15 David Bellamy Gold Awards over the years, along with a Special Distinction Award for the green technology in the new washblock.
This includes a solar hot-water system, heat recovery and low-energy LED lighting. Waste water is filtered in a reed bed, which attracts wildlife.
Guests at this adults-only site can encourage wildlife through its ‘borrow a bird feeder’ scheme. Planting native trees and shrubs has made this a haven for local wildlife, especially hedgehogs.
Head gardener James White, son of site owners Jim and Sally, says: “We won Gold for 15 years and then took a break from the scheme. That’s not to say we haven’t continued our conservation work.”
The family finds ingenious ways to reduce waste and any impact on ecosystems. James is constantly devising new plans to improve the guest experience, in harmony with encouraging more wildlife and increasing the level of biodiviersity around the park.
- Recent work includes the siting of five hedgehog boxes around the park, pond and woodland.
- Current projects include improving the woodland walk and removing selected trees to let in more light, leaving log piles and good places for wildlife to nest. More native wildflowers will be sown in the meadow.
- Future plans will see the campsite continuing with traditional hedge-laying, to thicken and rejuvenate its extensive hedges, while creating more areas of natural habitat and wildlife corridors. An important aspect of the Old Oaks team’s environmental work is to strengthen links with the local community, and help promote nearby businesses and attractions.
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