Praised for its commitment to protecting the natural world, a family’s holiday park on the cusp of the Cotswolds is now harvesting sunbeams on behalf of its guests.
Ranch Caravan Park in the village of Honeybourne near Broadway has installed a state-of-the-art solar energy system on its new five-star amenity building.
It means that hot water from the showers and taps is now all heated by the sun via super-efficient solar panels which work even on overcast days.
A similar solar system also maintains a blissfully comfortable temperature in the Worcestershire park’s popular open air swimming pool.
General manager Steve Attridge says that harnessing green energy is helping the park to massively reduce its carbon footprint whilst also providing benefits for guests.
Ranch Caravan Park was bought as a farm in 1954 by Steve’s granddad Dennis, and Steve’s parents, Andy and Sheila, have been involved with the business since 1976.
In recent years Steve and his wife Andrea, the third generation of owners, have been living on park with their two children Georgia and William.
The expansion of Ranch Caravan Park over the years has been accompanied by a raft of imaginative environmental initiatives.
They have led to the park receiving the prestigious David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level – plus, this year, two special extra accolades from the world-famous botanist.
They were a commendation for the park’s management of its hedgerows, and another for the many measures it has taken to protect endangered honey bees.
These include the planting of extensive areas of lavender and other high nectar-bearing blooms which provide vital foraging for bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
Other environment-friendly steps include the collection of rainwater for irrigation, the placing of bug hotels around the grounds, and shielded lighting so that guests can enjoy the night sky.
Steve, who is helped in the running of the park by his wife Andrea, said he was delighted that the new amenity building would be supporting Ranch’s green energy aims:
“We wanted to create a truly first-class facility for our touring guests with private bathrooms, heating, a fully-equipped laundry and a warm, cosy atmosphere,” he said.
“Now we have achieved this in a sustainable way thanks to the latest solar energy technology, and visitors are already leaving many fantastic comments about the finished result.
“We feel very privileged to live and work in this beautiful area of Worcestershire, and it’s great to know that our efforts are being supported by someone like David Bellamy,” added Steve.
In addition to its conservation award, Ranch has a top five-star rating from VisitEngland, and has been presented by the AA with its maximum five-pennants accolade.
There is more information about the park on its website at www.ranch.co.uk