Staff at a Cornwall holiday park are flying high after honey bees, butterflies and birds helped wing them to a top environmental accolade from Professor David Bellamy.
The world-famous botanist has presented Stonerush Lakes near Looe with his prestigious David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level.
It also received three extra commendations for protecting honey bees, managing its hedgerow habitats, and planting wild flowers.
The 28-acre park near the fishing villages of Polperro and Fowey was selected for the honours following an in-depth audit by David Bellamy’s wildlife assessors.
Stonerush Lakes’ grounds are home to more than 60 luxury lodges, mostly in private ownership and all equipped with eco-friendly features including energy-efficient technology.
The park’s four picturesque lakes are a magnet for a wide range of aquatic life including water lillies and other plant species, plus dragonflies and a raft of different bird species.
David Bellamy praised the careful management of the lakes, and also of the extensive native hedging which provides habitats and food resources for wildlife.
He also highlighted the large areas of high pollen-bearing wild flowers which provide vital foraging for endangered honey bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
David Bellamy made special mention of the park’s acclaimed Old Mill Restaurant where locally sourced meat, vegetables and other foods – as well as Tarquin’s Cornish Gin – feature on the menu.
Guests returning to their lodges after an evening meal are also given a stunning view of the night sky, thanks to Stonerush Lakes’ use of shielded illumination in the grounds.
In addition, single-use plastics are being phased out by the park, and the use of mains water is kept to a minimum by the park’s harnessing of its own fresh water spring.
David Bellamy said that Stonerush Lakes had also proved itself a good neighbour to the surrounding community, and raises money each year for good causes including Cornwall Air Ambulance.
General manager at the park, Simon Hargreaves, said that both staff and holiday homes owners were delighted with David Bellamy’s comments and his gold conservation award:
“The majority of our holiday guests chose Stonerush Lakes because of its tranquil rural setting, and everyone shares our love of the natural world and its inhabitants,” said Simon.
“There’s also great enthusiasm among our staff for ensuring that the park is as welcoming to wildlife as it is to human visitors, and our conservation work here is very much a team effort.
“This is a very special part of Cornwall, and it’s great to know that our efforts to make Stonerush Lakes a perfect fit to its surroundings have won the support of David Bellamy,” he added.
Find out more about Stonerush Lakes by visiting www.charteroak.co.uk