Cumbria parks are pick of the bunch in bloom awards

Trophy triumph: Green-fingered Kim Hodson-Walker (right) with the park’s Michael Holgate and Ellen Cartwright

Trophy triumph: Green-fingered Kim Hodson-Walker (right) with the park’s Michael Holgate and Ellen Cartwright

HOLGATES Holiday Parks has brought eight floral accolades back to Cumbria this month after a succession of triumphs in the North West in Bloom awards.

The group’s six holiday parks each won a top gold award for their colourful displays, plus a seventh gold for The Royal gastro-pub in Silverdale which Holgates owns.

But the judges hadn’t finished, for they then went on to name the company’s flagship Silverdale park as the overall North West winner in the “Best Caravan Park” category.

The glittering awards ceremony took place this winter at Southport Convention Centre, and among Holgates delegates in attendance was park warden Kim Hodson-Walker.

It’s Kim who helps to mastermind the planting policies across all of the parks, and group director Michael Holgate said that Kim deserved a special bouquet of her own:

“We were up against literally hundreds of contenders in this competition, and it was wonderful to see Kim and her team take centre stage time after time!” he said.

“Holiday guests often comment on how visually stunning our parks look, not just in spring but also right throughout the year, and it’s all thanks to Kim’s careful planning.

“She also gives priority to high nectar-bearing blooms, including wild flowers, which provide valuable foraging for butterflies, honey bees and other pollinators,” added Michael.

Michael’s business was started over 60 years ago by his father Frank who is remembered in the North West in Bloom awards with a special prize for biodiversity.

The Frank W Holgate Memorial Trophy was this year presented to the Golborne Community Wetland Project in Warrington which is run by pupils of the town’s high school.

Also earlier this autumn, all six Holgates parks won the David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level for their success in helping to protect the natural world.

But despite the new bloom awards, said Michael, nobody would be resting on their laurels, and that preparations were already underway to ensure a kaleidoscopic “spring spectacular” next year.

There is more information about Holgates’ holiday parks at