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Somerset holiday park with angler appeal nets top green award

Withy Water Park
Withy Water’s picturesque fishing lake is also a magnet for wildlife and a host of different bird species

A family’s Somerset touring park, where a well-stocked fishing lake has a special lure for anglers, has landed a major environmental award.

Withy Water park, near Burnham-on-Sea, has been announced as a winner of the prestigious David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level.

The green tourism award scheme was founded 25 years ago by botanist David Bellamy who sadly passed away in December 2019.

Assessors for the award said that business owners Beverly and Jim Baker had created “a wildlife wonderland” on the park which is part of the couple’s dairy farm.

Located near the village of East Huntspill, Withy Water is set in 10 acres of tranquil countryside and provides pitches for touring caravans, motorhomes and tents.

Beverly Baker said that the adults-only park, which first started welcoming guests a decade ago, has a particular appeal to lovers of natural beauty:

“Even though our roots here go back many years, we still feel very privileged to be able to live and work in the beautiful part of Somerset,” she said.

“Perhaps because of our farming background, we’ve always been concerned to manage Withy Water in a sustainable way, so this award is very special to us.

“We’ve received many congratulations from our friends, neighbours and customers – so I’m sure we’ll now be spurred on to even greater things!” added Beverly.

Helping the park to wing its way to David Bellamy’s award are its large areas of wild flowers which provide vital foraging for honey bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

The high nectar-bearing blooms flourish in Withy Water’s wildflower garden, and flowers also feature in upcycled planters such as milk churns and wheelbarrows.

The park’s lake, stocked with many types of fish to challenge angling holidaymakers, also acts as a magnet for a rich variety of wildlife including dragonflies and water fowl.

Award assessors praised the park’s planting of many native trees and shrubs, including a new stretch of hedging which has created additional animal habitats and food resources.

In addition, shielded illumination help visitors to enjoy Somerset’s starry night skies.

The family was also applauded on its engagement with the nearby community, including fundraising for good causes and welcoming local folk to walk and fish in the grounds.

In  addition to its main award, the park also received four extra commendations for protecting honey bees, creating new hedgerows, providing woodland habitats, and planting wild flowers.

Beverly said she hoped that the park’s accolade would also benefit other local businesses by shining the spotlight on what a wonderful area Somerset is to enjoy a holiday.

There is more information about the park on its website a www.withywater.co.uk

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