A Somerset family’s holiday park has scooped a top green tourism accolade after being described as one of the West Country’s most wildlife-friendly places to stay.
St Audries Bay Holiday Club near Minehead is celebrating after being named as a winner of this year’s David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level for the twentieth consecutive year.
The award scheme was founded 25 years ago by botanist David Bellamy who passed away in December 2019, and whose work is being carried on by his son Rufus.
Assessors for the award said that the team at St Audries have made their park as welcoming to nature and wildlife as it is to holiday guests.
Situated in West Quantoxhead near the Quantock hills on the Somerset coast, St Audries Bay Holiday Club plays host to thousands of visitors each year from the UK and overseas.
The park, which first started welcoming guests nearly 90 years ago, is run by the Randle family.
James Randle said the family has always been keen to work hand-in-hand with nature and to make “sustainability” a key part of all its business decisions:
“This is a stunningly beautiful part of the West Country, and we have always attracted families who share our love of the countryside and its wildlife inhabitants,” he said.
“We’re all extremely proud to have won this award, but credit for the achievement must be shared with our loyal and hardworking staff team members.
“Their skills and knowledge are vital to ensuring that our various conservation initiatives become a reality, and making the park an even greener place to stay,” added James.
Butterflies and honeybees helped the park wing its way to the David Bellamy award, thanks to the many flowers in the grounds which provide vital foraging for pollinators.
St Audries Bay Holiday Club also has its own on-site nursery where plants, including high pollen-bearing blooms, are raised from seed.
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.
They also highlighted the focus on local produce in the park’s shop, and the use of a wood-chip boiler to create green energy for heating and hot water, including the indoor swimming pool.
The family was applauded too on its engagement with the local community, including fundraising for good causes, and helping to organise beach clean-ups.
Visitors are encouraged to make wildlife discoveries on nature trails for children and adults around the park, as well as recording their sightings to help the local Environmental Records Centre to gather information.
The park also opens its popular swimming pool for the use of local people and school children throughout the year.
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.