Wildlife & Environment

As a group of family-run Holiday Parks, many within or close to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast, we have always placed an emphasis on being ‘green’ and make positive changes where possible in respect to energy, waste, environment and conservation. We are proud that all 5 of our Holiday Parks are recipients of the  David Bellamy Gold Conservation Award.

We aim to provide the best experience for our holidaymakers, holiday home owners and employees, while improving and protecting the environment and wildlife. In 2019, we set up a “Green Team” among the team to consider, explore and implement initiatives in all areas of the holiday park operations.

Recent Improvements

  • Solar Panel Installation at Highlands End and Golden Cap Holiday Parks
  • Purchased electric cars and electric gators
  • Electric hedge cutters and strimmers
  • A ‘Buyer’s Guide’ to encourage local purchasing within the company
  • Local contractors used
  • Local suppliers increased in Park Shops
  • Wildflower seeding
  • Planting increased across parks
  • Nearly 50% of all waste recycled
  • Glass bottle collections
  • Recyclable takeaway packaging at Martin’s Bar & Restaurant
  • Improved the woodland walk at Graston Copse Holiday Park
  • Planting at Sandyholme around touring pitches
  • Nature Trails introduced at Golden Cap, Graston Copse, Larkfield and Sandyholme Holiday Parks
  • Recycling bins in some self-catering accommodation as a trail
  • Recycling bags given in every arrival pack
  • New bin stickers to encourage recycling
  • We have added an Easy Be Dishwasher for touring & camping customers at Highlands End, which saves water
  • The Park Shops now sell milk in glass bottles rather than plastic bottles

What we do across the Parks

We believe that sustainability is an important aspect of the business and have undertaken a number of changes and practices to improve, which we continue to do on a regular basis:

  • We have introduced electric vehicle charging points at all 5 parks
  • We continue to add wildflower areas and plants that help bees and butterflies
  • We are adding more bug hotels that provide shelters for insects and animals including frogs, ladybirds, hedgehogs and butterflies
  • We are improving our general waste & recycling bays and signage to encourage as much recycling as possible
  • We have introduced paper straws at Martin’s Bar & Restaurant
  • We are replacing machinery and vehicles with electric alternatives wherever possible
  • We are introducing nature trails at Golden Cap, Graston Copse, Larkfield and Sandyholme Holiday Parks ready for March 2020
  • We now offer free water bottle refills at Martin’s Bar & Restaurant and the Park Shops
  • In June 2019, we received a Litter Free Coast & Sea Award for our anti-litter efforts
  • We inform our holidaymakers what can be recycled, provide designated areas to do this and have set a recycling target of 50% across the parks in 2019
  • We leave areas of our parks ‘rough and wild’ to encourage wildlife and plant trees, shrubs and flowers that provide food and shelter for wildlife
  • We have bird and owl boxes around the parks
  • We use low-energy lighting in all public buildings, many with motion detectors to reduce unnecessary usage
  • We have well insulated buildings, with high efficiency space and water heating
  • We use water butts to collect rainwater
  • We sell local produce in the park shops
  • Martin’s Bar & Restaurant uses over 20 different local suppliers
  • We use a low level of lighting on the parks to find a balance between reducing light pollution and ensuring people feel safe at night
  • At Highlands End we use air source heat pumps, solar water heaters and solar panels
  • Where possible, our housekeeping and maintenance teams use electric gator utility vehicles to move around the parks
  • We have created a Nature Trail at Highlands End Holiday Park, where you can see Mower’s Mead Wildlife Lake, our “Bee Bank” and “Bug Hotels”
  • We have a nature diary in the Visitor Information at Highlands End Holiday Park so children can record and draw pictures of the wildlife they see on the park
  • We have enclosed dog exercising meadows at Highlands End, Graston Copse, Golden Cap and Larkfield Holiday Parks
  • We have a riverside and woodland walk at Graston Copse Holiday Park, which is managed for wildlife with new walks, a “Bug Hotel,” bluebells in spring and benches, pathways and fences made by re-using materials
  • Bee hives at Graston Copse Holiday Park with honey for sale

What you can do

When on holiday with us, please do your bit and consider the environment. Leave things how you would wish to find them so future guests can enjoy the park and the local area.

  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – In all of our bin bays across the parks, you will find 3 types of bins – recycling, glass and general waste. All of your recycling goes in the same bin, there is no need to sort. See the signage at the bin bays for a list of what can be recycled and help us reach and exceed our 50% target!
  • Use local – We recommend and work with a whole range of local suppliers and there are some fantastic producers and businesses local to the parks. Purchasing goods from Dorset supports the local economy and reduces their carbon footprint. There are a variety of farm shops, markets, pubs, cafes and food events across the county. See our Holiday Planner for more information. Why not visit a local farm shop for fresh local produce:
    • Washingpool Farm Shop – Bridport, DT6 5HP
    • Felicity’s Farm Shop – Morcombelake, DT6 6DJ
    • Modbury Farm Shop – Burton Bradstock, DT6 4NE
    • Duck’s Farm Shop – Portesham, DT3 4HG
    • Kate’s Farm Shop – Owermoigne, DT2 8HN
  • Public transport – There are some great public transport links in Dorset and you can see the Jurassic Coast without the hassle of driving and finding parking. See the First Group website for Dorset timetables, focusing in particular on the X53/X51, which runs along the Jurassic Coast. Alternatively, visit the Park Reception.
  • Reduce energy consumption – Think about your energy consumption on the park in terms of water use and electricity usage – we have some amazing night skies in Dorset so help us to reduce light pollution by switching off lights and devices when you don’t need them.
  • Follow the Countryside Code – When out enjoying the natural environment, consider other people, animals and foliage. Keep dogs under control and away from livestock, don’t leave waste behind and stick to public rights of way – “leave only footprints, take only memories”.
  • Support the Jurassic Coast Trust – When making a booking with us, make a voluntary donation to the Jurassic Coast Trust to help them conserve the World Heritage Site and educate people about it’s importance – with the help of our guests, we have raised over £70,000 over the last 10 years for the Jurassic Coast Trust.
  • Beach Clean – Get involved in a beach clean – visit Litter Free Coast and Sea to find out more
  • Things to do without a car – See the WDLH Blog for a list of things you can do without a car while on holiday in Dorset!
  • Avoid single-use plastics – use metal or paper straws and avoid plastic items like water bottles and takeaway packaging

David Bellamy Conservation Awards

All 5 of the West Dorset Leisure Holidays Parks have achieved gold in the David Bellamy Conservation Awards. They have also been officially recognised as “Honey Bee friendly parks,” and received “5 in 5 habitat” badges for the work we do in wildflowers and hedgerows. The scheme, assessed by local wildlife experts, looks at the steps Holiday Parks are taking to:

  • Manage their land as a haven for wildlife
  • Reduce their use of energy, water and other resources
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle the waste they produce
  • Support their local communities

We are delighted to have achieved the highest level of excellence in the awards and continue to look at ways we can improve the parks and make them more environmentally friendly.