16 September 2020
On the park
Assessors for a major environmental award scheme have named Windermere's Park Cliffe as one of the greenest places in Britain to take a holiday.
Our family-run park has won the 2020 David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level, recognising its many achievements to protect the natural world. The award scheme was founded 25 years ago by TV botanist David Bellamy who passed away in December 2019, and whose work is being carried on by his son Rufus.
Susan and Derek Dickson, the husband and wife duo behind Park Cliffe, said they were very proud to have their conservation work honoured in this way. Susan said that she and Derek owed a great debt of thanks for the accolade to their staff team:
“Everyone here shares our love of the natural world, and our team members play a vital role in helping us to put our plans into action, and contributing their own ideas,” she said.
“Park Cliffe tends to attract holiday guests who want to enjoy tranquil, unspoiled surroundings, and their support has also been important to us over the past twelve years. We would be delighted if this award helped highlight Cumbria as a place where holidays can be enjoyed without damaging our beautiful but fragile environment.”
Park Cliffe is fortunate to be home to a wide variety of wildlife and plant species. We try to keep the environment as natural as possible, so that you can enjoy the wildlife that surrounds us.
It is not uncommon to see bird breeds such as swallows, blue tits and buzzards. Mammals including badgers, foxes and deer are also common visitors whilst reptiles like slow worms and grass snakes can also be spotted by keen eyed guests.
Our flower planting scheme means that visitors can enjoy varied displays throughout the year. We work hard to encourage species which are indigenous to the Lake District National Park.
We also take care to manage the trees around the park which are of course a haven for wildlife. The main species are oak, sycamore, alder, ash, holly and hazel.
Susan and Derek took over the park in 2008, and have since invested much time and energy into creating first-class surroundings which have drawn a host of quality awards. It nestles in 25 acres of countryside above the shores of Windermere, and provides some of the best Lake District holiday homes to rent and buy, glamping pods, and pitches for touring caravans, motorhomes and tents.
Assessors for the David Bellamy award highlighted the park’s planting of many high nectar-bearing flowers which provide vital foraging for honey bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Praised too are the many wildlife habitats created at Park Cliffe, its championing of local foods in its shop and restaurant, and the use of low-level lighting so that guests can enjoy the night sky.
“Since we re-opened in July, Park Cliffe has been amazingly busy, and we’re delighted to be providing just the type of outdoor holidays people have been craving,” said Susan.
Other initiatives include the banning of single-use plastics throughout the business, and the switch to non-polluting all-electric vehicles around the grounds.
The park was commended as well for its charity fundraising work for local good causes, including the Fix the Fells project to which it donated £3,200 last year.
In addition to the main David Bellamy Conservation Award, Susan and Derek received five extra badges for specific projects undertaken on the park. They were for:
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