Rare bat rescue team at Devon park scoops top eco-award
HELPING TO PROVIDE a bright future for one of Britain’s rarest bats has won a top environmental award for Landscove Holiday Park in Brixham, Devon.
Operated by Park Holidays UK, the cliff-top park has been honoured by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).
The organisation, which works under a Royal Charter, presented Landscove with the institute’s prestigious Best Practice Award in the large-scale projects category.
The accolade celebrates the ambitious work undertaken by the park to protect its horseshoe bat population during and after development work in its grounds.
Not only did Landscove achieve its aim to safeguard the bat roosts, but a recent survey revealed that it has actually increased bat foraging activity by up to twenty times.
It means that the protected species, whose nose resembles a horseshoe, has been provided with the ideal conditions in which to thrive and increase its numbers.
“The outcome is fantastic news, and we’re delighted to have our efforts recognised by this award,” said Matt Purdom, planning director of Park Holidays UK.
“We are an extremely environmentally aware company, and have always been concerned to give the fullest possible protection to local ecologies where our parks are based.
“In this instance, one of our main ambitions was to ensure that the bat colonies were given plenty of opportunities to forage for the moths and other flying insects on which they depend.
“We achieved this by introducing organic cattle grazing on surrounding meadowland and by reinstating traditional haymaking – moves designed to attract extra insects.
“Other initiatives, such as planting traditional Devon hedgerows and native trees and ensuring that nights remained properly dark, also helped to create the ideal conditions for the bats to flourish.
“The outcome was more than we could have hoped for, and has substantially increased the resilience of our bat population in this beautiful corner of Devon,” said Matt.
The conservation work at Landscove Holiday Park was planned in conjunction with independent eco-consultancy BSG Ecology which also won an award for its role in the project.
“Our group has operated Landscove for almost 35 years, and we invest substantially here and at all our parks in protecting the natural world and its wildlife inhabitants.
“Customers often choose us because of the beautiful countryside where our parks are based, and can do so knowing that we are doing all we can to protect the environment,” said Matt.
All of Park Holidays UK’s parks, which extend from Devon in the west to Suffolk in the east, are described on the company’s website at www.ParkHolidays.com