Award turns Scotland’s Red Deer into a green champion
NATURE-LOVING residents and the family owners of Red Deer Village near Glasgow are celebrating after their park was announced as the winner of a major environmental accolade.
The park is now the proud holder of the David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level, recognising the raft of wildlife-friendly measures taken there.
The award scheme was founded 25 years ago by botanist David Bellamy who passed away in December last year, and whose work is being carried on by his son Rufus.
Assessors for the award said that the grounds team at Red Deer Village have made the popular gated park a “joyful celebration of the natural world”.
Since acquiring the park 15 years ago, brothers John and Ivan Hendry have created a stunningly landscaped environment for people in or near retirement.
It includes thousands of high nectar-bearing flowers which provide vital foraging on which honey bees, butterflies and other pollinators can feast.
Two wildlife ponds in the grounds also act as a magnet for a rich variety of resident and visiting bird life, as well as damselflies and other aquatic species.
John Hendry said that the park, based in the village of Stepps, has been keen from the outset to work hand-in-hand with nature, and to make “sustainability” a watchword:
“This is a gorgeous part of North Lanarkshire, and we have always attracted park home buyers who share our love of unspoiled natural surroundings,” 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.
“Residents also play a crucial role in supporting our work, and many make their gardens wildlife friendly with features such as pollen-bearing flowers and bird feeders,” added John.
Recently, the park’s owners and residents helped the Scottish Wildlife Trust make an audit of the extensive animal and bird life to which Red Deer plays host.
The park is also taking more steps this year to ban single-use plastics within the business, and uses non-polluting electric buggies within the grounds.
Red Deer and its residents were applauded too on their engagement with the local community, including fundraising for good causes and welcoming local school children on nature outings.
Assessors also noted that a new development of 13 additional park homes currently underway will be accompanied by additional plantings to benefit wildlife.
The park also received four extra commendations for protecting honey bees, managing its hedgerows, providing woodland habitats, and planting wild flowers.
Red Deer’s David Bellamy award also recognises the environmental projects undertaken at its adjacent holiday and touring park which attracts visitors from across the UK.
More information about the park can be found at www.reddeervillage.co.uk