2017 is proving to be a good year for visitors at South Meadows.
Between the beginning of March and the middle of June, the numbers of our tents and tourers visitors are up by 20% on last year. Bookings for the lodge are also up by over 10%.
Clearly, the ‘staycation’ phenomenon is having some effect. The travel marketing group, Sojern, have estimated that there has been a 23.8% increase in British holidaymakers planning stays in the UK for the summer 2017. This was partly based on the online searches carried out at the end of 2016 and the start of 2017.
Their work also indicated that over half of these related to breaks of 3 days or less … very much in line with the concept of touring holidays.
Interestingly, reports from the caravan sales sector suggest that the market for touring caravans is very buoyant, with second hand units commanding high prices. This demand is especially strong for the 4, 5 and 6 berth units which cater for family touring holidays.
Despite all of these statistics, we also like to think that the increase in our visitors has something to do with South Meadows … the continual improvements, the services we offer and the wonderful area where it’s based!
We’ve improved some of the access roads and the new hedging, recently planted, is starting to contribute to a really good-looking site. We’ve also undertaken some wild flower planting which will hopefully bear fruit in the near future.
Another new feature is the extension to our woodland walk area. This area now extends across the Newlands Burn.
This well-established and traditional woodland offers our visitors the chance to enjoy a wide range of species of tree. We have fine specimens of oak, ash, sycamore, birch, beech and alder along with some spruce and fir.
During the year the woodland floor provides fantastic displays of wild flowers: snowdrops, bluebells, wild orchids and others.
Our woodland is also home to a local and very special resident … the red squirrel. Extending the woodland means we have more of these delightful creatures living alongside the caravan park.
The red squirrel (sciurus vulgaris) is officially classed as ‘near threatened’ in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, there are ‘population strongholds’ are Scotland, Northumberland.
The main reasons for the red squirrels’ decline are as follows:
- The main cause is the introduction of the grey squirrel from America. Grey squirrels carry a disease (squirrel parapox virus) which doesn’t seem to affect their health but which can be deadly to red squirrels.
- Also, the grey squirrels’ diet includes green acorns, the young ones. Red squirrels can’t digest the mature acorns, so can only eat green acorns. Thus, the greys have decimated the red squirrels’ food source.
- Lastly, red squirrels do not breed as often when their population is under pressure.
Our three acres of well-established woodlands provide the perfect habitat for the red squirrel and we’re proud that the woodland at South Meadows is playing a part in the survival of this beautiful creature for future generations.
We always love to hear from our guests when they spot one of these local residents in the woodland.