Sitting in the valley running along the border between Norfolk and Suffolk, Waveney Valley Lakes is an unspoilt haven of wildlife and tranquil surroundings. This policy has been drawn up to help us protect and enhance those environmental assets, and minimize our impact on the natural environment, both locally and globally.
In adopting this policy Waveney Valley Lakes aspires to both reduce the pressures which may deteriorate the qualities of the Park, and enhance the influences which may benefit it; the policy represents an investment by Waveney Valley Lakes in the future well-being of the Park and its surroundings, and in the future enjoyment and experience of its visitors.
In embracing this policy Waveney Valley Lakes undertakes to integrate, where reasonably practicable, the following measures into the management of existing facilities, services and operations; and to incorporate them wholly into any future development at the Park.
Conserve and enhance the park’s natural environment for the benefit of local indigenous flora and fauna through the active management of the area’s natural habitats and features.
Minimise the disposal of refuse to landfill through the best use of available recycling resources and an effective on-park waste management programme.
Minimise the consumption of resources through the use of energy and water management programmes, and the use of best available technology not entailing excessive cost.
Promote the interpretation and understanding of the local wildlife, landscape and heritage through the provision and management of systems of communication and education.
Support the community within which the park is located, by acting as good neighbours and by employing local people and tradesmen.
Manage the purchasing of services and supplies to improve the provision of local and environmentally friendly goods, support local businesses and eliminate the use of products and services from non-sustainable sources.
Waveney Valley Lakes first entered the David Bellamy Awards in 2002, and were delighted to receive a Gold Award. Having achieved Gold in every subsequent year, the Park was proud to be presented with a 10 year award in 2011 for Enduring Commitment to Conservation. None of this would have been possible without the continued commitment from all who have lived and worked on the park and we are proud to have been awarded Gold for the past 15 years. The Enduring Commitment to Conservation award is proudly displayed on the wall of the office alongside the Park’s Gold Award certificates.
Bees are a vital part of the British countryside. Not only are they beautiful and fascinating creatures, they are one of the most important pollinators of crops and other plants. That’s why the recent dramatic decline in many of Britain’s bee species is such bad news.
To help, the David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme has teamed up with the British Beekeepers Association to run the Honey Bee Friendly Park Project, and we at Waveney Valley Lakes are proud to have pledged our support for this project. We have incorporated a number of initiatives into the management of the Park’s grounds to help improve the food supply and shelter that is available for bees, and the wider insect life, of the park. We are pleased to report that this work has been recognised by the David Bellamy Award Scheme who have designated Waveney Valley Lakes a ‘Honey Bee Friendly Park’.
The Thornham Owl Project was started in 1997 with the aim of building, siting and erecting a network of monitored wild owl nesting boxes to replace the diminishing number of derelict barns, outbuildings and natural nesting cavities favoured by owls, particularly endangered Barn Owls, and other birds of prey in the flatlands of East Anglia. The Project has succeeded organising the construction, and siting and monitoring of an extensive network of boxes through the Upper Waveney, and on the Thornham and Gawdy Hall Estates, to the point where 250 boxes have been erected, a programme of seasonal repairing and cleaning is maintained, and details of box occupation, breeding successes and ringing are methodically recorded. Waveney Valley Lakes is pleased to be supporting this project providing three locations on the park for their boxes.
Fifty years after Dutch elm disease wiped out over 25 million trees in the UK, The Conservation Foundation initiated The Great British Elm Experiment; an attempt to unlock the mystery of why some Elm trees survived the disease. Cuttings were taken from mature trees from across the UK that appear to have resisted Dutch elm disease and these cuttings were skillfully micro propagated. The resulting native saplings have been distributed to schools, community groups, local authorities and private landowners who are participants in the experiment, and Waveney Valley Lakes are proud to be one of those participants. The Park has what is hoped is a resistant Elm planted, appropriately enough, on the banks of Elm Tree Lake and every year the tree is measured and a leaf count taken, with results sent back to the Conservation Foundation. The results of the monitoring of our growing sapling, and of the monitoring of the many thousands of other planted saplings will, it is hoped, create a new generation of elms that will become established for a future generation to enjoy.
Creating and managing habitats - the places where animals and plants live - is one of the most important things a park can do for the environment; and there are few businesses which are better able to give wildlife a home than a holiday park.
With this in mind, Waveney Valley Lakes is supporting the BH&HPA 5 in 5 project, which involves the park giving extra attention to five specific habitats over the next five years. We are pleased to have been awarded the Hedgerows badge in 2017 and now the Wildflower Habitat badge in 2018.
The hedgerows at Waveney Valley have always been managed with wildlife and particularly nesting birds in mind. As an additional commitment for this award the park also planted an additional 350 metres of bird friendly, indigenous hedging.
With so many acres and only 100 holiday homes, Waveney Valley Lakes has always been blessed with large open meadows and a wide range of wildflowers. For the award we supported this natural bounty with some additional strategic sowing, including some of the less seen wildflower species.
Watch out for next year's work to enhance the woodlands and the Woodlands badge!