The David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme is one of the longest running green tourism awards in the UK. The idea of the scheme was first sown when David Bellamy gave a talk to members of the camping, caravanning and holiday home park industry in which he gave the audience members a challenge to be part of the environmental solution and not part of the problem. David was then invited to visit many parks and was amazed at the wide range of work that the most forward-thinking owners were doing for the environment. David was so impressed that a partnership was formed between the Conservation Foundation (the environmental organisation that David co-founded to help businesses get involved in conservation) and the British Holiday & Home Parks Association to set up an award scheme.
The scheme proper started with a pilot programme in 1996 and the first awards were made in 1997. As is the case today, assessors for the scheme were drawn from local wildlife trusts and other local conservation bodies. The idea behind the awards has also remained the same since those early days: to celebrate what the best parks are doing for the British countryside and to encourage others to follow their lead. “One of the first comments David made about the scheme remains true today: “My dream is to upgrade all caravan parks up to some sort of conservation status so that they can educate the visiting public and help them respect and care for the countryside.”
This year (2017/18), 579 holiday parks received a David Bellamy Conservation Award for the work they’ve done to the protect and enhance Britain’s natural environment.
The variety of work being done by these parks is phenomenal – from the creation of new wildlife meadows and woodlands to the construction of solar-powered shower blocks and energy-efficient lodges made out of recycled plastic, parks are active across the country.
How are the awards judged?
The parks that take part in the scheme are all regularly assessed by the scheme’s team of local wildlife experts. The assessors look at the steps parks are taking to:
Since 2016, the David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme (DBCAS) has teamed up with the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) to run the Honey Bee Friendly Park Project, which aims to get as many parks as possible working to conserve Britain’s bees.
The project is open to all parks that participate in the DBCAS. Once signed up members can display a ‘Honey Bee Pledge’ logo that shows their park is committed to bee conservation. If they do enough for Honey Bee conservation, they get the right to call themselves a ‘Honey Bee Friendly Park’.
We are in our second year of participation in The David Bellamy Conservation Award and are delighted to have achieved Bronze level.
The conservation of our park is extremely important to our ethos here at Notter Bridge, after all the woodland/river setting with the abundance of wildlife is what makes our park so special. We are committed to improving and working towards attaining the Gold level and ensuring that the Park is kept for future generations to enjoy.