Lancs family celebrate ten-year triumph in green awards

David Bellamy has awarded his top gold accolade to Little Orchard Caravan Park for ten successive years

David Bellamy has awarded his top gold accolade to Little Orchard Caravan Park for ten successive years

TV BOTANIST David Bellamy has praised a Lancashire family’s decade of dedication to caring for its wildlife on their Little Orchard Caravan Park near Blackpool.

For the tenth year in succession, the park was this month presented with the prestigious David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level.

Professor Bellamy’s accolade is awarded annually to tourism businesses which make exceptional efforts to protect the natural world.

He also gave Little Orchard two special commendations for its efforts to protect honey bees, and its success in creating new wild flower habitats.

The Johnson family, said David Bellamy, had made the rare achievement of ten golds on the trot thanks to a raft of green initiatives on the eight-acre park grounds.

Honey bees benefit from the park's many nectar-rich flowers

Honey bees benefit from the park’s many nectar-rich flowers

He highlighted the sowing of large areas of high nectar-bearing wild flowers which provide vital foraging for endangered honey bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

There was praise too for Little Orchard’s upkeep of its woodlands and ancient hedges which offer habitats and feeding resources for a wild range of wildlife.

David Bellamy said that the park is also a magnet for birdlife, encouraged by the siting of nesting boxes around the grounds, including those specially designed for owls and bats.

The family has also banned the use of chemicals on the park, and has introduced a number of measures to minimise its use of water and energy.

This year, Little Orchard is marking its twentieth anniversary as a caravan park, and is managed by its owners Linda Jane Johnson and her son Jonathan.

The park is based on part of a former mixed farm in the village of Weeton, and has belonged to Linda’s Shorrock’s family since the 1920s, and is where Linda grew up.

“Although it’s a caravan park, Little Orchard obviously has very strong agricultural roots – and I have always been keen to ensure that it is run along sustainable lines,” said Linda.

“We try to make it as welcoming to wildlife as it is to guests, and our visitors tend to be caravan owners looking for a peaceful countryside escape in unspoiled surroundings.

“They are very supportive of what we do, and it’s wonderful to be able to help introduce their children to nature, and to make their own wildlife discoveries.

“It’s amazing to receive our tenth gold David Bellamy award, and I’m sure it will spur us on to even greater things!” added Linda whose husband, Dr Richard Johnson, is a retired research scientist.

There is more information about the park at www.littleorchardcaravanpark.com/

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