Flower power has driven a South Lakeland holiday park to the winning line in two major categories in the 2017 Cumbria in Bloom awards.
Judges in the keenly-fought contest decided that Silverdale park had twice trumped all-comers thanks to its spectacular floral displays.
First it was announced that the park was the overall winner in Cumbria Tourism’s self-catering and visitor attraction category, securing the tourist board’s prestigious rose bowl.
Then they declared Silverdale to be the champion contender for the South Lakeland Trophy which celebrates tourism businesses in the region.
The park’s success was revealed in front of hundreds of guests at a recent high-profile awards ceremony in the presence of the Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, Claire Hensman.
Stepping up to receive the awards was holiday park warden Kim Hodson-Walker who is a leading member of the staff team responsible for creating the displays.
Now the business is in the running for being nominated for entry to next year’s national Britain in Bloom finals, organised by the Royal Horticultural Society.
Silverdale’s two floral fanfares are a fantastic tribute to the hard work and imagination of park staff said Michael Holgate who is owner of the family-run Holgates group.
The business, which last year marked its 60th anniversary, comprises six highly acclaimed holiday parks in Cumbria and North Lancashire, including the group’s flagship Silverdale.
According to Michael, the colourful year-round displays of flowers are intended not just to enhance the appearance of the parks for local people and holiday guests:
“We are always keen to ensure that our parks make a positive contribution to the natural world, and especially its wildlife inhabitants,” said Michael.
“That’s why we give preference to high nectar-bearing blooms which provide valuable foraging resources for butterflies and honey bees.
“We also try and ensure that there are plenty of late-flowering plants at this time of year so that these pollinators can top-up their energy levels before winter sets in.
“But, of course, the displays also look magnificent, and credit for this must go to our park wardens and ground staff who help design, plant and maintain our gardens.
“It’s a massive undertaking, and we’re so proud that their efforts have been recognised not once but twice by the Cumbria in Bloom judges,” said Michael.
But he added that nobody would be resting on their laurels, and that preparations were already underway to ensure a celebratory “spring spectacular” next year.
There is more information about Holgates’ holiday parks at www.holgates.co.uk