Multi award-winning South West holiday park Cofton Holidays has scooped the Environment and Sustainability award at the Western Morning News Business Awards 2021, recognising its sustained conservation efforts during the pandemic.
The family-run business, based near Dawlish Warren, was presented with the award at a black-tie event at Plymouth’s Crowne Plaza. After facing fierce competition from category finalists including Accord Healthcare, LiveWest and SunGift Solar Ltd, Cofton walked away with the Environment and Sustainability title.
Winning the award is the latest accolade for the South Devon holiday park, which was crowned the UK’s Best Caravan/Campsite at the national iTravel Staycation Awards 2020/21.
Sustainability and green initiatives have always been at the top of the agenda for Cofton Holidays, but its rewilding project really took off during the pandemic. With 20 years’ worth of David Bellamy Conservation Awards under their belts, the team saw lockdown as the perfect opportunity to give the park back to Mother Nature.
Enhancing the park’s carefully considered planting, extensive woodland, wildlife-friendly hedges, wildflower zones and on-site bug and bee hotel, Cofton has planted additional hedges, shrubs and trees to strengthen wildlife corridors across the site, bringing nature to the doorstep of its visitors. Wild deer, buzzards, butterflies, hedgehogs and a range of fascinating migrating birds can all be spotted thanks to the biodiversity on site. As well as planting perennial flora to attract more insects and pollinators, new hedges provide enhanced nesting environments and food for a variety of birds and bats.
A further scheme that gave Cofton the edge over its competitors is its £60,000 investment in 16 electric car charging points. No other business in the South West has more electric vehicle charging points in one location.
Added to that, Cofton has invested in 144kw of solar power units for the park’s 12 luxury lodges, an electric vehicle for housekeeping, an outdoor lighting review, and the planting of 36 mature trees, making it one of the region’s leading sustainable holiday parks.
Helen Scott, Director at Cofton Holidays, is thrilled with Cofton’s success this year: “Winning the Environment and Sustainability Award at this year’s Western Morning News Business Awards is a fabulous achievement for us. It’s testament to the hard work the team have put into our sustainable initiatives this year, and strengthens our reputation as a holiday park that puts the environment at the forefront of all that we do.”
Helen continued: “Throughout lockdown, we concentrated all our efforts on making improvements to the park. It was the perfect opportunity to enhance the natural landscape whilst our guests were away, ready for them to marvel at Mother Nature’s handy work once they returned. Our sustainability efforts have been recognised by a number of award bodies now including iTravel, VisitEngland and VisitDevon, but this is by no means the end to our investment in green initiatives.
“Next year, we will continue to nurture our local environment, fulfilling our sustainability commitment with plans to review our outdoor lighting to reduce light pollution overspill, investing in more charging units for guests staying at the cottages and participating in the tree planting scheme which will celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. As the recent climate change summit, COP26, has highlighted, it’s more important now than ever before that businesses take responsibility for operating in a sustainable way that will protect the environment for future generations. We take this seriously at Cofton and will continue to do all that we can to protect our beautiful corner of South Devon.”
Cofton Holidays offers a variety of accommodation to suit all guests including luxury lodges, dog-friendly cottages, Georgian-style apartments, modern holiday homes and camping and caravanning pitches. Facilities include an indoor pool heated by a biomass hub with a splash pad area and hydrotherapy loungers, a gym, restaurant, pub, steam room, sauna, fitness studio, soft play area, playground, sports wall, outdoor pools and much more. Guests also have access to five coarse fishing lakes, miles of cycle paths and nature trails that take visitors through woodland to the golden sands of Dawlish Warren beach and nature reserve.
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