Environmentally Friendly Holiday Parks FOCUS – South Lytchett Manor, Dorset

The Best of British Holiday Parks Group is made up of 46 holiday parks, all of whom are independently and family owned. One of the key themes across all of our parks is sustainability and environmentally friendly methods of operating and providing great services to our guests

A perfect example of this is South Lytchett Manor in Dorset. Purchased by the Bridgen family in 2006, they have invested over £2.5 million in rebuilding and refurbishing the amenity buildings, the lodge and the grounds, turning it from a 3 star park into a 5 star luxury touring and camping site.

From the start, ethical thinking was key and the carbon footprint of the park was at the forefront of its development and rejuvenation.  Here are some of the main areas for consideration by the Bridgen family at South Lytchett Manor.

1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The team actively promote the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ principles to guests, leading by example. Park recycling is of great importance to help protect the environment, therefore 60% of waste is recycled and the team strive to increase this percentage further. As a dog friendly park, there are signs around the site asking guests to ‘pick up after your dog’ and to remind people of ‘responsible recycling’, both of which were designed by children at a local school.

The use of carrier bags is minimised, recycled paper is used for printing, as are re-fillable inks. Reusable coffee cups are sold on-site and guests who eat in will be served in a china cup rather than one-use cups. The park has recently invested in a water butt to help conserve water and will look to locate more water butts around the park to help with watering the plants.  Which leads us on to…

2. Britain In Bloom and Championing The Natural Environment

South Lytchett Manor excels at seasonal planting which was acknowledged when they were a ‘Gold’ winner of the South and South East in Bloom Awards. A large area in the dog walk area has been allocated to wildflowers, which have been specifically created with bee friendly planting in mind.

In 2014, a herb garden was created and it is still well used almost 10 years later.  Additionally, the team have planted native hedging and many trees.  A pumpkin patch appears each October half term for the younger guests to enjoy around Halloween!

During the winter of 2021, team member Matt created a pathway around the duck pond with bird boxes to encourage more birds into the area. A duck house was built to home runner ducks and mallards.

Perennial planting schemes are a focus and one element is hostas, which the team love. Alas, so do the slugs! They avoid the use of slug pellets, instead preferring to use coffee grinds from the cafe which seem to do the trick! Team members are given time out of their work day to concentrate on creating beautiful patches of greenery and planting. Cleaner Aggie has a natural talent and love of gardening, so she is given the opportunity to pursue her passion on the park.  Elliot is a young enthusiast on the team who planted all the hanging baskets.  Peat free compost is used for all planting.

3. Award Wins

The highlight of South Lytchett Manor’s recent award history must surely be the AA Campsite of the Year overall winner, which included all holiday parks in England. Another highlight, and one that guests particularly note (!) is that the park is a winner of the Diamond Award in the Loo Of The Year Awards!

They have also won a number of awards focussing on sustainability and environmentally friendly practices.  In 2013, they won the Poole Tourism Sustainability Award, which highlights that they have been striving for sustainable practices for some time.  They also have a Gold rating from the Green Business Tourism Scheme. In 2019 the team won the Bronze Award for Environment and Sustainability at the BAPTA Green Initiative Awards.

4. Promoting Sustainable Transport

Possibly one of the most important facilities on offer is the bus stop at the park gates. Most guests want to park their car or motorhome and leave it onsite for the duration of their stay, to use the bus.

With the increasing use of electric vehicles, plans are in place to introduce charging facilities from 2024. In the meantime, the nearest charging facility is a 2 minute drive away from the park itself. Additionally, the team have compiled their own walking and cycle routes from the park. They also have a cycle hire facility which is a great way for guests to explore the local area.

5. Holidays For All

There are two fully compliant disabled shower rooms with radar keys and five modified family rooms to assist the partially able. Ambient doors have also been installed. The team have compiled an accessibility information pack to include days out suitable for accessibility-impaired guests, available in the information room.

6. Supporting Local Businesses and the Local Community

A red telephone box has been converted into a Book Swap library. You can swap a book or take the book for a £1.00 donation to the chosen charity; Julia’s House Children’s Hospice.

Having sponsored a defibrillator at the local pub which is a 10min walk away back in 2015, the park decided to buy a defibrillator costing £1,500 for the site itself. This gives peace of mind not only for guests but the whole team too.

The park aims to fill the shop as much as possible with local produce (locally reared meats from Rawston Farm, supply of local products such as Badger Ale, Dorset Tea and Dorset Cereals, Coffee Mongers and Jessica’s Cakes. This is evident as  supply locally reared meats from the local Rawston Farm. Baked goods are produced on site daily.

There is a close working relationship with Upton Garage assisting guests with car maintenance issues and several mobile repair companies and awning fitters.

All in all, South Lytchett Manor is a great example of a holiday park that has continuously strived to improve on their sustainability and environmentally friendly offering. We can see their progress, along with their plans for 2024. There is a lovely team waiting to welcome you, do take a look at what a holiday at South Lytchett Manor could look like this summer or in 2024 if you like to book ahead!

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