Cumbria Crack

Ambleside park fast-tracked to national award finals

Henry and Syd Wild (left) with Tim Farron MP at Skelwith Fold during this April's English Tourism Week
Henry and Syd Wild (left) with Tim Farron MP at Skelwith Fold during this April’s English Tourism Week

[S]kelwith Fold caravan park in Ambleside has been named as the North West ethical business of the year in the Federation of Small Businesses and Worldpay UK Business Awards 2017.

Now the park will be fast-tracked to the award finals in May where four regional finalists have been selected to compete for the national ethical business title, and £2,000 prize money.

Skelwith Fold could then be in the running for the top prize of £10,000 covering all of the categories of the prestigious competition.

Judges said that when it comes to protecting the environment and adopting forward-looking green policies, Skelwith Fold is an inspiration to all small enterprises.

The company is owned by the Wild family, and Henry Wild said the honour was a fantastic achievement for the park which they acquired just over 20 years ago.

Skelwith Fold occupies the once-neglected 130-acre grounds of a former country house, and is now

described as “a wildlife wonderland” by world-famous botanist David Bellamy.

Thanks to the conservation work of Henry and his father Syd, the park today attracts red squirrels, red and roe deer, badgers and a huge number of bird species.

It has introduced many high pollen-bearing flowers on which honey bees and butterflies can forage, and a wetland reedbed system for the treatment of waste water.

Skelwith Fold also helps to keep alive traditional countryside skills in the maintenance of the park, including hedge-laying, coppicing and dry stone walling.

But Henry insists that credit for the FSB award must also go to all of the park’s staff:

“Everyone working here is automatically enrolled onto our green team, and plays a very important part in putting our conservation policies into practice,” he said.

“They help with projects such as our winter wildlife feeding programme, building bee and bug hotels, creating new habitats, and recycling timber into bird and owl boxes.

“We also encourage staff to come forward with new ideas of their own which will make us even more wildlife friendly, and provide fascinating new discoveries for holiday guests,” said Henry.

Skelwith Fold provides caravan holiday homes for private owners plus pitches for people with touring caravans and motorhomes, and also luxurious “glamping pods” for hire.

“I hope our FSB award shows that nature and small businesses such as ours can be perfect countryside partners,” said Henry.

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