Bird-rich Fife holiday park soars in green awards

Sitting pretty: Douglas Baillie (right) with staff members Robert and Lynda White on the award-winning park

Sitting pretty: Douglas Baillie (right) with staff members Robert and Lynda White on the award-winning park

Birds, butterflies and honey bees have helped a family-owned holiday park on the Fife coast to wing its way to a major environmental award.

Tayport Links Caravan Park, between Dundee and St Andrews, has been named as a winner of the prestigious David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level.

Professor Bellamy said the park’s caring owners had shown themselves to be true friends of the countryside through a raft of different activities to help wildlife.

David Bellamy also went on to designate Tayport Links as an official “Honey Bee Friendly” park as part of his new initiative to help protect the threatened insects.

This status, he said, was thoroughly deserved thanks to the large number of high nectar-bearing flowers at Tayport Links, providing valuable foraging for bees and butterflies.

The nine-acre park, on the edge of the historic fishing town of Tayport, accommodates just over 100 caravan holiday homes and lodges owned by mainly Scottish families.

The park attracts many species of resident and visiting birds

The park attracts many species of resident and visiting birds

The business was acquired by Bruce Baillie in 2000, and when Bruce passed away just over a year ago, his son Douglas and wife Sonia – who have two young sons – took over the reins.

Both father and son have invested much time and effort into creating a holiday environment which, says Douglas, aims to give VIP treatment both to wildlife and holidaymakers.

The park’s gold David Bellamy award was given after assessors appointed by the scheme carried out a thorough audit of Tayport Links’ conservation policies.

They said that the park was clearly being run along sustainable lines, and with proper regard for the superb natural surroundings.

The park sits on the banks of the Firth of Tay where thousands of birds gather daily at low tide, and enjoys sweeping views of the picture-postcard Fife coast.

David Bellamy’s award assessors noted no fewer than 28 species of birds during his inspection.

Professor Bellamy praised the excellent work carried out by the park to create wildlife habitats in the grounds, and its care of the banks of the burn which borders Tayport Links.

The burn, he said, had itself become a magnet for many different resident and visiting bird types – including kingfishers – as well as many other aquatic species.

David Bellamy also said that Tayport Links was proving itself to be a good neighbour to the local community with its previous sponsorship of the local youth football team, and current support of the amateur music society and community garden in the town.

According to Douglas, credit for the award should also be shared with holidaymakers:

“Our holiday home owners are very supportive of our work, and many also play their part by erecting bird boxes and growing flowers in tubs and baskets,” said Douglas.

“These provide additional food for pollinating insects, and attract a fascinating array of different butterflies as well as honey bees.

“There is a great community atmosphere on the park, and we’re all delighted that our wildlife conservation efforts are being supported by someone like David Bellamy,” he added.

Douglas is helped in the running of the park by his two members of staff, Robert and Lynda White. There is more information about Tayport Links at www.tayportlinkscaravanpark.co.uk

 

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