We are proud to announce that for the third year running, Moss Wood have been selected as finalists in the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2018! Our category is the Sustainable Tourism Award, recognising our hard work throughout the year to look after our local environment whilst continuing to provide exceptional customer service.
We go above and beyond to protect and enhance our natural environment, and enshrine this within out Environmental and Sustainability Policy. Here are just a few examples of our work in action:
- Over 4,000 square feet of wildflower meadows, along with plants throughout the park – all from local sources – which together provide pollen, food and shelter for as much of the year as possible. This provides a strong, healthy basis for the local environment, sustaining a wide variety of native flora and fauna species.
- The hedges throughout the sites are native species which have been locally sourced. Our policy is to rotate the coppicing, cutting and laying of all hedges on an informal 2/3 year rota to allow them to blossom and berry fully. We are also careful when cutting the grass to leave a healthy border at the bottom of the hedgerow. All of this makes the hedges the best possible environment for a whole host of native wildlife from insects, to small mammals and birds.
- As well as protecting the natural habitats of our local wildlife species, we also take pains to enhance and help nature by providing artificial habitats such as bird boxes, owl boxes, bat boxes, ‘bug hotels‘ – and since March 2018 we have hosted three apiaries of honey bees.
- We go to great pains to involve our customers and guests in our environmental work and let them know what we do and why. Our new Nature Trail encourages guests to look closely at some of our wildlife-friendly areas for native plants and animals they can see there (even a red squirrel last year!). Our monthly newsletter usually has one or more articles about how guests can help the wildlife around Moss Wood and at home – such as what garden plants to plant when. Since 2017 we have held an annual ‘Wild Fun Day‘ where we show off our environment and our conservation efforts to our guests and encourage them to get involved – such as building bird boxes or bug hotels under our supervision, or going pond dipping in our nature reserve!
- We strongly believe in supporting local businesses. A strong local economy means that we can rely on local goods and services instead of contributing to carbon emissions by bringing them in from further away. We stock a wide range of local products in our on-site shop from meat, to crisps, to ice cream – and even our own ale brewed in the microbrewery on the neighbouring farm! We also hold events such as our increasingly famous Local Taste Test which brings together a range of local producers to provide free samples to guests to show off their goods!
- As well as doing our best to support local producers, we also do our part for local attractions by letting our guests know about them alongside local events. By letting people know some of the amazing places they can visit on our doorstep – like the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – our guests can enjoy themselves without having to travel too far. Not only does this keep money in the local economy with the environmental benefits that has (see above), but it also keeps down our carbon footprint as our customers drive less distance – or can even get around on foot or bike.
- With around 150 static caravans on the park here at Moss Wood, it is inevitable that much of our ecological footprint will be left by our guests enjoying their holiday homes – as they should! Obviously we don’t want to stop this, but there are ways in which we can still look after the environment. In our regular newsletters, email updates and Facebook posts, amongst other news we let our guests know ways in which they can help the environment. From suggestions on capturing rain water to use on their plant beds, to what plants are best for helping wildlife whilst still looking great, to how to build a simple hedgehog shelter – we love seeing how enthusiastic people are about taking up our ideas, and seeing how they can help us to help our local environment.
- We always have static caravan holiday homes for sale on the park, and each year we aim to bring on brand new holiday homes which are more eco-friendly than the year before. For 2019 we have the Carnaby Helmsley Lodge 2019 – which with a Structural Thermal Rating of 8.2/10 is one of the most efficient caravans available today. By showing an interest in the sustainability credentials of the caravans we buy and sell, we can not only increase our own sustainability going forward – but encourage the manufacturers to become more environmentally aware in the future. Take a look at the environmental stance taken by one of our suppliers, Victory Caravans, here.
- As well as working with our suppliers and manufacturers, we also work with local wildlife charities to help conservation and other environmental efforts. We are proud to be local business members of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust helping them to protect native species in the area. We have also worked closely with the local RSPB with events on the park, encouraging our guests to get involved in their Wild Challenge, and hosting a stall for them at our Wild Fun Day. We also host other groups such as a local group of bird ringers who operate across the Wyre and Fylde areas monitoring bird numbers and health in the area.
- Our collaborations on behalf of the environment doesn’t end there! We have been involved with two local universities – the University of Lancaster and Manchester Metropolitan University – to help promote both a more environmentally friendly future for Moss Wood and to promote sustainable tourism across the industry. Working with the University of Lancaster, we are investigating the best ways in which we may become energy self-sufficient. After being invited to make a presentation at the first Manchester Symposium on Sustainable Tourism in 2017, we have worked to help create a new module on sustainable and responsible tourism with Manchester Metropolitan University.
- While we continue to work with the University of Lancaster on becoming energy self sufficient, we are careful about where we currently purchase our electricity supply for the park. Our current contract supplies us from an energy mix which uses over 50% above the national average from renewable sources. However in 2019 we are excited to be moving to a contract which will guarantee that all electricity supplied to Moss Wood will be from 100% renewable sources!
- While making sure that our energy source is clean is important – it is equally important to reduce our overall usage. To do this, our new office (erected in 2016) makes use of new energy efficient technologies such as LED lighting. We also monitor the electricity and water usage throughout the park in real time – receiving alerts if they spike, which may indicate some waste (a leaking pipe or short circuiting equipment) which we can quickly fix to save resources.
- Waste is an unfortunate fact of everyday life. However – we work hard to try to recover or recycle as much as we can and encourage our guests to do the same, enabling nearly half of the waste on site to be recycled. From the remainder, we use innovative means to try to reuse or recover where possible – for example, we ‘donated’ some of our metallic waste to an artist who creates unique sculpture from recycled material. We take a conscious decision over the eventual waste when purchasing for the business, for example 100% of paper ordered for our office is now from recycled sources.
- We also take a similar decision on other products that we purchase based on their ‘green’ credentials. As an example, all cleaning products that we use at Moss Wood (including both the office and shower block) are now biodegradable and certified as environmentally friendly.
- And much, much more!
While this is far from comprehensive, it might give you an idea of some of the changes we have made even the last couple of years towards ensuring that Moss Wood Caravan Park is a standard bearer for Sustainable Tourism not just for the region, but nationally. Having made it to the finals of the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2018 – the next step will be for us to convince the judges that we deserve to win the overall Sustainable Tourism Award this year!
Thank you for all of your continued support as we aim to further reduce our environmental impact.