Holiday park goes 'batty' over top award
- Credit: Jon Boston
A Brixham holiday park has won a top award – for saving one of Britain’s rarest bats.
The Landscove holiday park at Berry Head, operated by Park Holidays UK, has been honoured by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.
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 20 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.
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"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 conservation work 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,” said Matt.