Fife park creates a real buzz in green awards
Honey bees and butterflies have helped a popular SE Scotland holiday park to wing its way to victory in a national environmental awards scheme.
Elie Holiday Park, just outside the seaside resort of Elie in Fife, has been declared a winner in the annual David Bellamy Conservation Awards scheme.
Professor Bellamy presented his prestigious accolade to Elie Holiday Park at its top gold level for the raft of initiatives it takes to safeguard wildlife and protect the natural environment.
David Bellamy also went on to designate Elie 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 maintained at Elie Holiday Park, providing valuable foraging for bees and butterflies.
Located on Shell Bay, the park provides luxury holiday homes to rent and buy, a lodge with hot tub, plus pitches for campers, touring caravans and motorhomes.
Tucked behind a wide expanse of dunes, it offers easy access to Elie’s famous golden sandy beaches, the town’s historic harbour, and the nearby SSSI Ruddons Point – a haven for birdwatchers.
Owned by Abbeyford Leisure for over 30 years, the park attracts thousands of visitors from across the UK and overseas – and also provides free access to local people in the area.
They are welcome to use the park’s attractions, and to explore the extensive grounds which play host to a wide variety of wildlife including red squirrels and many different bird species.
David Bellamy praised the extensive planting of many native trees and shrubs at Elie Holiday Park which, he said, provide important animal habitats and food resources.
Also commended was the park’s Wildlife Action Day in September which it hosted in partnership with the Fife Coast & Countryside Trust, Fife Nature, Fife Council and Butterfly Conservation Scotland.
Locally-sourced food is a feature both in Elie’s restaurant and park shop, and David Bellamy said the business also set a fine example of community engagement.
As well as sponsoring the local football team and collaborating with local businesses, it supports good causes and works closely with various Scottish nature and marine conservation bodies.
Peter Davies, sales and marketing manager for Abbeyford Leisure, said the park always aimed to give nature the same VIP treatment that guests receive:
“We are always mindful of the fact that a major part of Fife’s appeal is the fantastic natural scenery and incredible wildlife which people come to enjoy,” said Peter.
“We feel privileged to be at its heart, and so we take all steps possible to protect the surrounding countryside and its flora and fauna for everyone’s benefit.
“It’s a task in which all of our employees play a part in different ways, from helping to monitor wildlife activity to minimising energy usage and encouraging guests to recycle.
“This latest David Bellamy award is a tribute to everyone’s efforts, and it’s great to know our work is winning the backing of Britain’s best-known botanist!” added Peter.
Also receiving David Bellamy’s conservation accolade in this year’s awards were Abbeyford Leisure’s St Andrews Holiday Park and St Monans Holiday Park in the East Neuk of Fife.
There is more information about Elie Holiday Park, and the five other Scottish and Welsh parks owned by Abbeyford Leisure, at www.abbeyford.com