Hurley Riverside Park impresses David Bellamy
Owned by the same eco-conscious family for 40 years, the park provides pitches for visitors with their own touring caravans, motorhomes and tents - plus around 300 caravan holiday homes.
Over the years, the Burfitt's have planted thousands of indigenous trees and shrubs in the grounds which provide a valuable habitat and feeding resource for wildlife. Visiting species include deer, foxes, badgers, bats, and many birds including owls and red kites.
David Bellamy, who on a previous visit to the park officially named its first llama, Apollo, applauded its seeding of wild flowers with high pollen-bearing blooms. These attract a wide range of butterflies, including both common and less familiar types.
He also praised Hurley's upkeep of the banks and its moorings on the Thames where the river acts as a magnet for aquatic species from kingfishers to dragonflies.
Professor Bellamy judged the park as worthy not just of his Gold conservation accolade, but also of a Special Distinction award given this year to only 19 of the UK's 3000-plus holiday parks. It honours energy-saving initiatives taken recently by the park which include the use of solar energy and air-source heat pumps to produce hot water in guests' showers.
The distinction was also awarded for Hurley's timber-recycling scheme, and the opening of a new nature trail through ancient woodlands, which encourages guests to make wildlife discoveries.
Click here to find out more about Hurley Riverside Park.