Rooting for trees: Cumbria park’s 10k challenge

Michael Holgate says the 10,000 trees will have a positive environmental impact on his park's biodiversity

Michael Holgate says the 10,000 trees will have a positive environmental impact on his park’s biodiversity

An ambitious scheme to plant 10,000 native trees – one for every family in nearby Kendal – has been completed at a South Lakes holiday park, Hollins Farm.

The last of the mixed saplings, a silver birch, was placed in the soil in April at the popular camping and caravanning park near Silverdale.

Now the owners, the Holgates Group, say they hope parents will use Hollins Farm as an “outdoor classroom” to help youngsters learn about the fascinating ecosystem of trees.

The park is also a working farm which raises traditional breeds of sheep, cows and chickens, and the tree-planting project is the latest among its many environmental projects.

Last year, TV botanist David Bellamy praised Hollins Farm for encouraging youngsters to make natural discoveries and learn more about the countryside.

He awarded the park his prestigious David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level, and challenged business owner Michael Holgate to take even more eco-friendly initiatives.

The park is also a working farm with free-range animals loved by kids

The park is also a working farm with free-range animals loved by kids

Michael’s response has been the massive tree-planting project which represents around one new sapling for every family living in Kendal with its 28,000 population.

“Trees are massively important components of our countryside, and have an impact on virtually every living thing, from insects and birds to mosses and wildlife,” said Michael.

“They also provide pollen to honey bees, and will support our work at Hollins Farm to increase the presence of wild flowers and other high nectar-bearing blooms.

“The saplings were all sourced from within the region, and represent tree species which have grown in Cumbria for centuries and provided habitats for endangered wildlife such as red squirrels.

“Our staff team has worked incredibly hard to get this work completed before Easter, and we’re now looking at undertaking similar projects on our other parks,” said Michael.

The Holgates group, which recently marked its 60th anniversary, comprises six multi-award winning parks, including its flagship Silverdale Holiday Park not far from Hollins Farm.

There is more information about the group at www.holgates.co.uk

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