Awards hat-trick for family’s Thames-side park

Guests at Hurley Riverside Park have direct access to the Thames in its picture-postcard village setting near Henley

Guests at Hurley Riverside Park have direct access to the Thames in its picture-postcard setting near Henley

Staff and the family owners of Hurley Riverside Park near Henley-on-Thames are celebrating a triple triumph of national awards this month (September).

Set on the banks of the Thames in the village of Hurley, the park’s accolades trumpet its high quality standards and its successful efforts to protect the natural world.

Underlining the business’s green credentials is the prestigious David Bellamy Conservation Award 2016, presented to the park by the world-famous television botanist.

Professor Bellamy congratulated the Burfitt family, owners of the park for almost five decades, on achieving the award at its highest gold level for the sixteenth year in succession.

The business’s next honour came in the form of a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.

First-class surroundings have brought a raft of awards

First-class surroundings have brought a raft of awards

TripAdvisor’s “excellence” accolades are handed out only to firms which attract an exceptional number of glowing reviews and maximum satisfaction scores.

Completing the hat-trick of awards was the presentation by the AA to Hurley of a top five-pennant rating following a rigorous assessment by the organisation’s inspectors.

The park was founded in the early 70’s by Richard and Janet Burfitt who today continue to run the business with the help of their two sons, Will and James.

Hurley attracts thousands of UK and overseas visitors each year, and provides luxury holiday caravans to rent and own, plus pitches for touring caravans, motorhomes and tents.

According to Will Burfitt, the family has always aimed to run the park along sustainable lines – and is especially proud of the praise it has received from David Bellamy.

Highlighted in David’s annual report on the park is its planting of thousands of native trees, hedging and shrubs which help provide valuable habitats for a raft of wildlife.

Professor Bellamy also applauded the family’s seeding of wild flowers with high pollen-bearing blooms which attract a wide range pollinators including butterflies and honey bees.

There was recognition too for Hurley’s upkeep of its Thames-side banks and wildlife lake, which act as a magnet for aquatic species from kingfishers to dragonflies.

The park was also praised for its extensive fundraising for local good causes, and allowing parts of the grounds and an ancient barn to be used by community groups.

Feeding time for the river's abundant wild fowl

Feeding time for the river’s abundant wild fowl

The next event taking place is a “Classics in the Barn” evening on Saturday 24 September hosted by the charity Wooden Spoon which supports underprivileged children in Berkshire.

“We’ve had a great summer season here at Hurley, and these three awards have come as the icing on the cake for everyone,” said Will.

“According to tourist board figures, our guests spend more than two million pounds each year in the Thames Valley, mainly with other small family businesses.

“That’s why we intend to use these accolades to try and benefit the region as a whole, and to put the spotlight on what a great place it is to take a holiday.

“Our staff were also delighted at the news of these awards as they play a big part in defining what our park stand for, and we’re very grateful to them all,” added Will.

There is more information about the park at www.hurleyriversidepark.co.uk

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