Lancs park lays down green safari challenge

Spotted anything? Nature interpretation boards along the trail highlight flora and fauna which can be seen nearby

Spotted anything? Nature interpretation boards along the trail highlight flora and fauna which is seen nearby

Guests at an environmentally-friendly caravan park near Lancaster are being challenged to go on a “green safari” to help monitor its many wildlife residents.

Moss Wood caravan park in the village of Cockerham has laid out a 1.5km nature discovery trail around its grounds which holidaymakers are being urged to explore.

The route is marked with ten interpretation boards which illustrate and describe the different animals, birds, insects and plants which can be found nearby.

Moss Wood hopes that guests’ recorded sightings will help it audit more precisely the volume of different species to which the park plays host.

Findings will also compared on a regular basis to see if there is any movement in their numbers.

The trail takes in both wooded and open areas of the park, including a 3000 square-foot wild flower wilderness which was sown last year.

Moss Wood's green safari takes in wildlife highlights around the park's grounds

Moss Wood’s green safari takes in wildlife highlights around the park’s grounds

The colourful corner of the park boasts thousands of high nectar-bearing blooms which provide vital foraging for honey bees and many different types of butterfly

It also takes in areas around the park’s spring-fed lake which act as a magnet for birdlife, dragonflies and a host of other different aquatic species.

Features such as these have helped bring family-run Moss Wood official recognition for its raft of imaginative nature conservation initiatives.

Last year, it was a finalist in the sustainable tourism category of the Lancashire Tourism Awards, beating hundreds of other eligible businesses in the county to a place among the top four candidates.

And this spring, Moss Wood was presented once again with the prestigious David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level for the twentieth consecutive year.

The park was established by the Wild family over 40 years ago, and provides around 200 pitches for holiday homes, touring caravans and motorhomes.

Director Henry Wild said that holiday guests tackling the “green safari” could help answer a number of important questions about how well the park is succeeding in encouraging biodiversity:

“Wildlife and nature experts who have visited Moss Wood say that there is a fantastically wide range of different animal and plant species flourishing here,” he said.

“But what we can’t be certain of is how quickly changes are taking place over months and years, so we are hoping to engage our guests in helping to find some answers.

“Their findings could lead us to establishing habitats favouring a particular species, such as the dormice and barn owls for which we created homes a while ago.

“We do tend to attract holidaymakers who share our views on the importance of protecting wildlife, and they are very supportive of our conservation work,” added Henry.

To help with the audit, guests are also being asked to photograph their findings, and those submitting at least five images are being rewarded with a Moss Wood wildlife tea-towel.

There is more information about Moss Wood Caravan Park at www.mosswood.co.uk

The park's idyllic hideaway setting in rural Lancashire is only a pebble-throw from many popular beaches

The park’s idyllic hideaway setting in rural Lancashire is only a pebble-throw from many popular beaches

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