For the last fifteen years our visitors have helped us win Gold in the coveted David Bellamy Award for an environmentally friendly site. In 2009 Professor Bellamy presented with his special award for ‘Enduring Commitment to Conservation’; saying that he ‘takes his hat off to us’ for the work that we have undertaken with the lakes and the preservation and encouragement of wildlife. This was repeated last year, 2013 for the new toilet and shower facilities. We are now only one of seven caravan and camping sites in the country to win his Special Award twice!
Last year was no different, we were awarded Gold again and this has spurred us on to a greater commitment. During the last two winters we have planted over 20,000 trees and to protect the young saplings we now have no sheep in the woodland behind the campsite, so it is a lovely place to walk and let your dogs run. These plantings are part of our commitment to improve the woodland on the farm. The trees that you see were all planted just after the war and are now mature enough to start to fell. We are aware that this could create a blot on the hillside so we are doing our best to soften the impact by planting the trees above the hedge line and taking the timber out in blocks rather than all in one go.
We are replacing all our softwoods by hardwoods, oak, sycamore, holly and cherry, returning the hillside to something more akin to what it was before the oaks were taken during the First World War.
Right from the start twenty two years ago our idea was to create a campsite wholly at one with our wonderful surroundings here in Mid Wales where campers could be as close to nature as possible, whilst still enjoying the comforts of a well run and well maintained park.
We re-routed the stream down its original course through the site, digging shallow pools for pond-life, made waterfalls to oxygenate the water with a weir system to prevent winter flood destroying habitats.
Next we made large earth banks that were to become wildlife sanctuaries for the host of small mammals, insects, butterflies and birds that now inhabit them and escape harm from the mower and campers.
The banks were sown with wild flower seeds or else allowed to grow wild and all were planted with shrubs and trees for character and shade for the banks themselves and also to break up the site.
To avoid serried rows of caravans the layout was planned with most pitches backing onto a feature of some kind with many different orientations.
No wires clutter the site, we buried electricity and telephone lines and installed a state of the art sewage digester system so that there was no pollution.
There is no light pollution either for there is precious little site lighting too. Only where necessary are there low wattage lights on timers at night. We advise campers to bring a torch rather than spoil the wonders of the brilliant night sky afforded us here by the lack of light pollution from town street lights.
We have no clubhouse and campers enjoy visiting the friendly village pub about a mile away. We have cut a pathway through the farm so you can amble down along the stream to work up a thirst.
The campsite is in the middle of our farm land and so we have developed walking paths all around and you are welcome to explore. There is a whole host of wildlife to be found, masses of varieties of birds, large and small mammals such as field mice, stoats, foxes, badgers, water voles and even otters. There are even fantastic fungi to be spotted too.