What are the David Bellamy Awards?
The David Bellamy Conservation Awards were a series of awards presented to holiday parks, campsites, and other similar establishments in the United Kingdom that demonstrated a commitment to environmental conservation and sustainability. These awards were named after David Bellamy, a British botanist, author, broadcaster, and environmental campaigner known for his work in raising awareness about conservation issues.
How have we achieved David Bellamy awards as a park?
We are proud as a park to say we have achieved multiple David Bellamy Awards for our hard work in conserving the land and making sure it stays as natural as possible. The David Bellamy Awards have certain criteria to achieve an award, which we have successfully managed. These criteria’s are:
Home Sweet Home
Home Sweet Home involves the land being a natural habitat to wildlife. We have used natural resources such as sticks, barks and other things to create bug houses; fallen trees have also been used to create shelter for animals across areas with wildflowers.
Pollinator Patches are placed for bees, wasps and other insects to thrive in and add to the biodiversity of the land; over 50% of our arboretum is made up of wildflower pollinator patches. These patches are also home to man rare butterflies, caterpillars and moths.
A unique aspect of our park is its dedication to specific animal species, with a primary focus on hedgehogs. Situated just by the park’s entrance, is a specialized hedgehog hospital, where there is a dedicated team that provides top-notch care for injured hedgehogs. Their primary objective is to nurse these hedgehogs back to health and ensure their successful return to the arboretum once they are fully recovered.
Our arboretum is full of trees and reflects this category well, as it has more than 500 different types of trees. The trees are well taken care of by our grounds team to ensure that they are healthy and thriving in their environment.
We have three ponds that can be found around the arboretum here at BCHP. These ponds are populated by dragonflies, and you can often find various uncommon birds surrounding them.
How things started
The arboretum was created from a tree-planting plan by Stephen Bean Associates in 2007 for Mr Constable. These plans were never fully implemented but the majority of the trees are still thriving in the arboretum to this day. The design separates areas of the Arboretum into “rooms” which reflect the rooms of the Burton Constable Hall. The arboretum is filled with some of ‘Mr C’s’ favourite fruit including pears, apples and plums; this fruit was made into jams and jellies. Many of the fruit trees are still alive.
The rooms are separated by walkways called the ‘avenues’. The avenues are cut at 3 inches, whereas the rooms are cut at 5 inches, this is to encourage different biodiversity to the land as different animals like different lengths of grass. The arboretum map can be explored interactively on our arboretum page.
Keeping things natural
Rare wildlife has been on the rise within the park. A recent sighting at the lake includes the Grey Headed Woodpecker. The wildflower patches play host to a variety of distinct creatures, including uncommon caterpillars, moths, and butterflies. This can be attributed to the efforts to maintain the environment in its most natural state possible. Fallen trees have been utilized to establish a natural setting, providing hiding spots and sunbathing areas for foxes. These trees naturally undergo biodegradation, eliminating any potential risks to animals or the surrounding ecosystem.
Wildflowers & Grassland
Several decisions have been taken to enhance biodiversity. For many, the landscape might sometimes appear as if the groundskeeping team’s efforts are incomplete. However, these factors are intentionally planned to accommodate various wildlife and native plants. This deliberate choice promotes diverse biodiversity across the area, as different creatures prefer different grass lengths. The region provides a habitat for numerous insects, including grasshoppers, butterflies, dragonflies, and many others.
In the future we aim to add signage around the arboretum to make the experience more informative and to reflect the trees on the interactive map. Benches will hopefully be added to make this space relaxing and the perfect place for everyone to enjoy whilst having picnics.
You can explore the arboretum at various times during the day and across all seasons of the year. We highly recommend to do so, as the wildlife and trees constantly undergo changes and evolution. This approach guarantees that you’ll have the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the complete experience the arboretum has to offer.