The days are getting longer – believe it or not – and a brand new caravanning season is just around the corner.
If you’ve spent the best part of this winter out of touch with everything that’s going on, here are some tidbits of news to help bring you up to speed as you prepare for perhaps the first of your outings this year.
£23m holiday park investment in West Sussex
There’s probably no clearer sign of the popularity of caravanning – in all its shapes and forms – than companies prepared to invest in the necessary facilities. Few are as ambitious as the impressive £23 million investment in a holiday park in West Sussex, reported on the 10th of January by the Caravan Times.
The multi-million pound acquisition of Bunn Leisure’s 116-acre site near Selsey is by US specialists in caravan and motorhome resorts, Cove Communities. In addition to a touring caravan and camping park, the company plans three self-catering holiday village areas on the site.
The 4 to 5 star amenities and accommodation incorporate entertainment and leisure facilities to be developed during a further 5-year investment schedule which features new sea defences and environmental conservation schemes.
Sad news for Swift caravans
The closure of one factory and significant redundancies at another spell troubled times for Swift Caravans, according to a story in the Hull Daily Mail on the 7th of January.
Swift has shut down its factory at Mexborough in South Yorkshire, transferring some of the staff to its main plant at Cottingham, near Hull, where there has also been a series of redundancies. The group blames a “turbulent” economic and political environment for faltering consumer confidence and a recent hike in the vehicle excise duty on motorhomes.
The company is in the process of streamlining its business to meet the challenges of the current economic climate.
Swift produced its first caravan in 1964 and has grown to become one of the largest manufacturers of caravans in the UK.
Caravan park left ‘decimated’
Kingfisher Caravan Park at Skegness on Lincolnshire’s east coast is bearing the full brunt of the local council’s decision to ban static caravans that are more than 20 years old, according to a report in the Mirror newspaper on the 6th of January.
East Lindsey District Council, which owns the large caravan park now faces the wrath of caravan owners who say they are now unable to sell their caravans while the park itself becomes steadily denuded and pitches remain vacant and abandoned.
The Council explains that its decision was taken in the interests of sustainability and is in keeping with the age restrictions on caravans pitched on other sites throughout the area.
Fife caravan park wins environment award
Clayton Caravan Park near St Andrews, in Scotland, has won a premier Gold prize in the David Bellamy Conservation Awards, reported Fife Today on the 10th of January.
The award recognises Clayton Caravan Park’s careful management of some 10 acres of woodland and associated hedgerows which offer a rich habitat for local animals and birds. “Bug hotels” and bird boxes are scattered throughout the woods and the park exercises careful energy and water consumption control.
Special mention was made of the park’s encouragement of butterfly and honeybee populations which pollinate the many wildflowers among the woods and along the hedgerows.
Acclaimed botanist David Bellamy, who died last December, launched the award scheme 25 years ago and the laurels recently earned by Clayton Caravan Park make it a deserving guardian of the Scottish countryside, said those judging this year’s awards.