Shropshire park goes gold in green awards

Fernwood Caravan Park (above) has earned a special distinction for its environmental policies

Fernwood Caravan Park (above) has earned a special distinction for its environmental policies

World famous botanist David Bellamy has congratulated the managers and owners of a north Shropshire holiday park after it scooped his top green accolade.

Fernwood Caravan Park near the market town of Ellesmere is among just 14 of Britain’s 3000-plus parks to achieve a special distinction on top of its David Bellamy Conservation Award.

Managed for over 25 years by husband-and-wife team Judith and Ron Tildesley, the park gained the extra accolade for its part in producing a series of free walking guides for visitors.

Fernwood was also presented with the highest possible award, a gold, in Professor Bellamy’s annual honours for parks making exceptional efforts to protect the natural environment.

The 65-acre park, said Professor Bellamy, showed perfectly how a business could exist in total harmony with its environment.

He highlighted how Fernwood sustains many wildlife habitats around the park, helped by the hundreds of native shrubs, trees and hedging which have planted.

It also features many high nectar-bearing flowers which provide a valuable food source for honey bees and the many species of butterfly which abound on the park.

David Bellamy also commended Fernwood’s management of its wildlife lake which is a magnet for dragonflies and a raft of other aquatic species.

The lake, and the park’s 40-acre woodland, also attract many types of resident and visiting birds.

There was praise too for the park’s involvement with Shropshire Wildlife Trust with which it works closely to monitor the extensive flora and fauna in the grounds.

Joint projects with the trust have also included visits by children from nearby schools to discover more about the natural world.

Earning the special distinction in the award scheme was the park’s involvement in producing free leaflets which describe a series of walks in the adjacent Welshampton area.

Park managers Judith and Ron Tildesley, who live at Fernwood, helped compile the trails and the park sponsored the production of the leaflets.

The couple came to the park in 1990, and enjoy playing a part in the local community with Judith being a former chair of the Welshampton and Lyneal Parish Council.

Judith said everyone was delighted that Fernwood had joined a small elite of UK parks now able to boast a special distinction in the David Bellamy Conservation Awards:

“We all crossed our fingers after being given a very thorough inspection earlier this year by a member of David Bellamy’s Conservation Foundation,” said Judith.

“Getting a gold award was fantastic, but a special distinction as well has made us very excited!

“It’s wonderful being able to live and work in this beautiful part of Shropshire, and to know that our conservation work is being supported by someone like David Bellamy,” she added.

Fernwood is the sister-park of Ranch Caravan Park in the village of Honeybourne near Evesham, a family business owned since 1954 by the Attridge family.

There is more information about the park at www.fernwoodpark.co.uk

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