The flourishing Wayside Holiday Park near Pickering has been presented with the prestigious David Bellamy Gold Conservation Award.
This much-coveted award is given to holiday park owners across the UK who show an active concern for the environment and promote nature-friendly policies to make their parks more beautiful and biodiverse.
Assisted by local nature groups and holidaymakers themselves, the awards’ judges look at virtually every aspect of park management – from the protection of plant and animal habitats to the efficient use of energy and recycling. Helping visitors to understand conservation is also considered an important qualifying feature.
The award was presented to Mark Goodson, the owner of Wayside, by Rufus Bellamy, the son of the renowned biologist and television personality Dr David Bellamy, who started the awards over 25 years ago.
Mark Goodson said: “It is an immense privilege to receive this Gold Award and an endorsement of everything that I, and my colleague and friend Trevor Jones, have tried to achieve here at Wayside. It’s been a labour of love – hard work at times, but extremely enjoyable.”
“We were very honoured that Rufus travelled all the way down from Edinburgh to present the award. We were delighted that he took such a keen and genuine interest in what we are doing here to create a beautiful natural environment for all our caravan and lodge owners.”
Wayside has also been designated as an official Honey Bee Friendly Park by the awards scheme, which is run in British Holiday & Home Parks Association (BH&HPA)
Rufus Bellamy commented: “It has been a tremendous pleasure to see at first-hand what has been created at Wayside Holiday Park and to celebrate the park’s success. It is very impressive and they are worthy recipients of our award.
“The lakes, the water features, the gardens, the wild flowers, the nature trail and the bee hotel all combine to create the prettiest and most relaxing of environments. Nature, in all its diverse glory, forms a crucial part of this park and it is easy to see why so many people like to call Wayside their second home.
“The aim of our award is to encourage the camping, caravanning and holiday home community to take a real pride in their environment and to create a natural setting of which everyone can be proud.
“At Wayside, the care and attention given to every aspect and area of the park is exemplary. Owner Mark Goodson has set the highest of standards, which has encouraged many on the park to create their own little bits of paradise.
“The work this park does for nature helps keep my father’s memory and ethos alive. For that, I am very grateful indeed,” he added.
Mark Goodson explained that the park, which is situated at Wrelton, between Pickering and Kirkbymoorside in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors, has experienced a surge in sales during the past month.
He said: “We tick many boxes for those wanting to get away from it all – safely and without any hassle. We place enormous emphasis on the safety of everyone on the park.
“Once it was announced that we could open in early July, we were looking forward to an exciting and productive year, following a record-breaking 2019, but we weren’t expecting anything like this. It’s been manic.
“To say I am thrilled is an understatement. This has been a stressful time for everyone in the UK, as Covid-19 brought the country to a standstill. Now, with lockdown eased, our park is thriving.”