South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss visited Alderwood Lodges in June and met with its family owners following the recently held English Tourism Week. The spring event is designed to put the spotlight on Britain’s tourism industry, and the £125 billion contribution it makes to mainly rural economies in counties such as Norfolk.
Elizabeth Truss toured the park with business owners Connie and Doug Atkins, and their daughter Leigh Barnes and her husband Peter. Leigh told Elizabeth Truss that the family has always applied the principles of sustainability to managing the park, and had taken a number of important steps to conserve its flora and fauna. These have included the creation of a fertiliser-free wildflower meadow which attracts a wide range of butterflies, bees and other insects to the high nectar-bearing blooms. The family has also planted many indigenous trees and shrubs on the park which provide valuable nesting and feeding resources for the many species of resident and visiting birds. Kingfishers, goldcrests, woodpeckers, jays, finches and herons are among the frequent sightings. The MP was invited to inspect the new bird hide, sited to provide views over both the river and parkland, and equipped with identification Visiting the new Bird Hidecharts and a record book.
Holiday parks, Leigh explained, account for around 22% of all holiday bed nights in Norfolk each year, and represent the one single tourism sector which continues to show annual growth. She added that the thousands of pounds spent annually by park guests is fed straight into the local economy, supporting all types of Norfolk businesses and the jobs they provide.
Elizabeth Truss commented “I am absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to tour round Alderwood and see their excellent facilities. Tourism is worth £2.6 billion annually to the Norfolk economy supporting many jobs and industries. In South West Norfolk we are very fortunate to have wonderful countryside boasting the Brecks, unique bio diversity, flora and fauna. So it is fabulous to see a family run enterprise such as Alderwood that combines sustainability with luxury accommodation, the promotion of birdlife and native plants, which will attract visitors to the area” Leigh said she was delighted that the MP was able to take time out to visit Alderwood Lodges to support English Tourism Week, and to learn more about the park’s positive impact on the region.