Family’s holiday park a natural winner in Lancs award finals

Under the spotlight at the Lancashire Tourism Awards ceremony are (from left) host and Dancing on Ice star Daniel Whiston; Henry Wild, Neil Darby, Hannah Wild, and award category sponsor James Allison from solicitors Napthens

JUDGES in the Lancashire Tourism Awards have named a Lancaster holiday park, Moss Wood, as the county’s torch-bearer for businesses with a conscience.

The family-run park took first place in the “ethical, responsible and sustainable” category of the awards, beating a strong line-up of contenders from across the North West.

It means that Moss Wood will now be fast-tracked through to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence later this year in the same category.

The result was announced at a glittering awards ceremony held at Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach Arena on 07 November, attended by tourism and business chiefs from across Lancashire.

Stepping into the spotlight to receive the congratulations of judges were Henry Wild and his wife Hannah, accompanied by Moss Wood marketing co-ordinator Neil Darby

Judges said Moss Wood was helping children to engage with nature

Henry accepted the award on behalf of his father Syd who first started the park over 40 years ago, and who still plays an active part in its running.

Moss Wood, judges said, puts sustainability and care for the countryside at the heart of its business culture, bringing great benefits to the natural environment.

The park was also praised for the way it encourages holiday guests and members of the local community, especially children, to engage with nature and to help protect its wildlife.

Henry Wild said that everyone was absolutely delighted to have taken the top sustainability prize:

“We are very fortunate to be able to attract staff who share our enthusiasm for the natural world, and for doing everything possible to protect our flora and fauna,” he said.

“Their knowledge and skills mean we are never short of new ideas for safeguarding wildlife, and for helping youngsters to enjoy making new outdoor discoveries.

“Our family feels very privileged to live and work in this beautiful part of rural Lancashire, and I hope this award will help raise awareness of its very special qualities,” added Henry.

Judges made their decision after carrying out an in-depth study of Moss Wood’s sustainability policies, and hearing a presentation about its work from Neil Darby.

Neil said the park has been presented with the David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level for over twenty consecutive years, recognising its raft of conservation initiatives.

These include a recently created 1.5km nature discovery trail, and a 3000 square-foot wild flower wilderness providing vital foraging for honey bees and butterflies.

There is also a spring-fed lake at Moss Wood which acts as a magnet for birdlife, dragonflies, water fowl and a host of other different aquatic species.

In addition, the park plays host to thousands of bees in hives on its grounds, and supports bee-keeping charities with the sale of its own artisan beer produced by a local micro-brewery.

Moss Wood provides holiday homes to buy as well as pitches for touring caravans and motorhomes. There is more information about the park at www.mosswood.co.uk

Back at Moss Wood, the park’s winning team members are (from left) marketing co-ordinator Neil Darby; seasonal warden Dave Dean; seasonal warden Sue Partington; groundskeeper Chris Peacock, and wardens Sandra and Ian Stokes

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