Cumbria park tells BBC Breakfast “We’re good to go”
BBC TV’s BREAKFAST SHOW took its audience to the Lake District this morning (18 June) to see how one of Cumbria’s largest holiday parks is preparing to welcome back visitors.
Reporter Sean Farrington was at Skelwith Fold caravan park in Ambleside to where the show returned at regular intervals throughout the three-hour programme.
Owner of the family-run business, Henry Wild, said that the lockdown in March had effectively “turned off the tap” for Cumbria’s £3 billion tourism industry.
But there were hopes, he said, that holiday parks and other sectors of tourism would soon be able to re-open and salvage at least part of this year’s trade.
At stake, said Henry, were the livelihoods of the many Lake District businesses which depend on tourism, and the jobs which they provide.
Last year, he told the BBC reporter, Skelwith Fold welcomed thousands of visitors from across the UK and overseas to the 450-pitch park just outside Ambleside.
This year he will be receiving just a fraction of that number, and the park’s revenues had plummeted which would cause severe headaches over the closed winter period.
BBC Breakfast showed some of the safety and social distancing measures put in place by Skelwith Fold in readiness for the return of holiday guests.
They include contactless check-ins, plenty of hand sanitising stations, the deep-cleaning of glamping accommodation between visits, and the closure of some communal areas.
A BBC drone flown over Skelwith Fold showed that all of the parks’ holiday homes were well spaced by at least six metres, and the reporter pointed out that each was fully self-contained.
Also interviewed on the park was Cumbria Tourism’s managing director Gill Haigh who said she already knew of tourism enterprises forced out of business during the lockdown.
However, she said she was confident that Cumbria’s tourism industry could “bounce back” next spring – but only if it received urgent government support to survive this coming winter.
Meanwhile, Henry Wild said that he and his staff team felt extremely excited at the prospect of the park returning to its usual hive of summer activity in the near future.
“We are raring to go, and to provide the type of outdoor experience in this beautiful county which people have been craving during these last few months,” he said.