Gotcha! Cumbria park captures its secret wildlife world
WHEN LAKE DISTRICT caravan park Skelwith Fold trained a hidden camera on its guests, the footage revealed an unexpected wild side to their after-hours activity.
It all started when the Ambleside park suspected that an earthy bank in its grounds was the entrance to a badger sett, and might be in need of extra attention.
So park director Henry Wild arranged for a motion-sensitive camera with night-time vision to be concealed nearby the suspected den of the protected animals.
“Three weeks later we retrieved the camera, and the video did indeed provide firm evidence that this was the gateway to a network of tunnels in which badgers live,” said Henry.
“But the surprise came when we saw what else had triggered the camera over that period, and it now seems that this must be one of the busiest banks in Cumbria!
“During both night and day its visitors included a myriad of wildlife among which were roe deer grazing for food, red foxes seeking prey, scurrying mice, and darting squirrels.
“And even though this was ground level, a variety of birds also came into view including a very confident jay pecking seeds and insects from the forest floor in its pink plumage.
“All that was missing from the footage was David Attenborough squatting nearby and telling us in a hushed voice the identity of the next guest!” said Henry.
Skelwith Fold’s 130 acres of grounds were described by the late botanist Professor David Bellamy, an occasional visitor to the park, as a “wildlife wonderland”.
Its many initiatives to protect the natural world, including re-introducing a colony of red squirrels and protecting honey bees, have won a number of conservation awards.
However, said Henry, the video demonstrates to visitors that although wildlife aren’t always easy to spot, guests are very much in the thick of it when they stay at Skelwith Fold:
“This footage tells it own story, and shows that parks such as ours can provide ideal conditions for many different species to flourish, and take guests right into the heart of nature.
“Reconnecting with the natural environment is just the fix we all need after the last year, and our video leaves no doubt that this is exactly where to find the prescription.”
Skelwith Fold provides glamping accommodation, including fully equipped safari tents, plus pitches for motorhomes and touring caravans, and holiday homes to own.
More information about the park and its accommodation can be found at www.skelwith.com