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Going green

In addition to our lovely guests, there are a few other residents at Holiday Resort Unity that we try and take care of.

They’re the animals, birds and other wildlife that live here. That’s because we’re committed to protecting and preserving the landscape and environment here, to working towards a sustainable future – and to minimising the impact the resort has.

We’re delighted to say that we’re now proud holders of a David Bellamy Gold Award. And of course you can help too, by following these simple suggestions below while you’re on holiday with us.

We’d also love to know what wildife you’ve spotted on site so don’t forget to tweet us your pictures @BreanSands.

1. Use the bins. Please use bins provided around the resort. Rubbish on the floor not only looks unsightly but is harmful to animals and the environment. And please don’t flush sanitary waste, including nappies and baby wipes, down the toilet.

2. Recycle. You will find recycle points for segregated waste adjacent to the amenity block on our camping fields, at Costcutter Supermarket and at the Leisure Park caravan hiring area.

3. Save water. Please do not leave taps running unnecessarily. If possible, only use the minimum amount of water needed when bathing and washing.

4. Switch Off. Please turn off lights when you go out.

5. Save energy. Please switch lights off when you leave the room and turn off electrical appliances at the plug when not in use (including the telly!).

6. Don’t upset the birds! Leave nesting birds in peace, particularly near the pond, ditch banks and sand dunes.

7. Shop locally. We choose suppliers that are local in order to support the community and give you a taste of Somerset and the South West.

8. Re-use your carrier bags! Keep your bags, either for your swim gear or for your shopping at Costcutter Supermarket.

What is HRU doing to help reduce its carbon footprint?

Good question. Well for starters, we have a ‘Green Team’, made up of resort team members, who discuss and implement ideas to make us more sustainable. So far, these have included the following areas:

Electricity – Where possible, we use low energy bulbs and keep unnecessary lighting usage around the resort to a minimum. In the amenity blocks, we have motion-activated lights. We now have an electric car for our security team, which is used to patrol the resort at night. It has replaced a petrol vehicle and, when you think it covers around 80 miles every night, is quite a significant change!

Recycling – Last year we improved our recycling facilities, with more recycling points and larger/clearer bins. These are collected by an approved contractor and taken to a recycling point. We also have our own compost heap and the owners of caravans can contribute to this by using our garden waste bags that we then collect to add to our maturing heap. We also recycle our printer cartridges, paper, glass and cardboard generated within our many departments. Any lost property not claimed after six weeks is donated to local charity shops in Burnham-on-Sea.

Water – You will find push taps in the amenity/ toilet blocks which prevent water wastage when taps are left running. Many or our urinal systems are now motion-activated as opposed to running automatically. Our showers are also push button or sensor-activated to save on wasting water. You won’t find many baths on our resort and this helps reduce our water consumption. We collect water from the roofs of our storage sheds to re-use on the resort.

Gas – We are currently fitting controlled thermostats within our 150 hire fleet caravans which have a fall-back temperature that defaults should a guest leave the accommodation for the day and leave the heating on. This will also prove useful for when caravans are not occupied as it will drop back to the default temperature should the heating be accidentally left on after cleaning. We have anticipated a reduction in gas use by 40 per cent and all the thermostats should be installed by February 2013.

Brean Splash Waterpark – While designing the waterpark, which opened in May 2011, we looked at ways to improve its environmental efficiency. We’re really proud of the systems we put in place. We are the first pool complex in the UK to locate an air source heat-recovering system within a ‘thermal store’ inside the building, which is designed to recover heat before air is expelled. It is anticipated that this will reduce carbon emissions by 18% per year and also reduce our running costs. We have also fitted an electric pool cover to reduce the amount of heat loss from the pool water when the building is closed. We are using UV disinfection in addition to chlorine to disinfect the pool. UV is a much more effective way to disinfect and significantly reduces the amount of chlorine needed.

Wildlife – We have a wide range of wildlife on our resort. In 2011 we erected over 50 different types of bird and bat boxes to allow wildlife to live and develop on areas throughout the resort. We have a wild growth area between the 3rd and 4th holes to allow natural growth of vegetation and development of wildlife habitats.

Wildlife you may see during your visit to Brean

  • Ducks and geese found on our fishing lake or ponds on the golf course
  • Shell ducks
  • Green and gold finches
  • Kestrels – on the golf course
  • Buzzards – occasional visitors to the golf course
  • Green woodpeckers
  • Heron – found on the marsh areas on the edges of the golf course
  • Pied wagtails
  • Egrets
  • Owls
  • Bees
  • Butterflies
  • Ladybirds
  • Rabbits
  • Hares – on the golf course
  • Water voles – at our lake
  • Horses – grazing in our fields
  • Grow our own – We have our own vegetable garden where we grow produce that is used in our kitchens at the Tavern.

Top 8 Green Itineraries

1. Ditch the car and walk around the resort to reach our facilities.
2. Use the free evening mini bus/ train service during mid and high season, picking up for the touring RJ’s and the leisure park.
3. Walk to Brean along the beach. Then climb the National Trust Brean Down.
4. Hire a bike from our hire centre and cycle to the local seaside town of Burnham-on-Sea.
5. Experience the countryside by taking a walk to Brent Knoll (the round hill to the East of the Resort). At the end of the dog walk cross the road and the bridleway will take you to Brent Knoll.
6. Catch a bus to Burnham-on-Sea/ Weston-super-Mare right from the resort entrance.
7. Take advantage of our organised coach trips to Bath spa, Minehead and Wells. Pick up at resort entrance.
8. Take a nature walk around the resort – what wildlife can you spot? Please complete a David Bellamy questionnaire to help us maintain our award.

About our awards

The Green Tourism Business Scheme awards businesses who have proven that they care for the local environment and community. There are three levels of the award (gold, silver and bronze). We have achieved silver level having first received bronze in 2008. Following improvements made, we achieved silver in 2010. For more information about Green Tourism please click here.

The David Bellamy Conservation Award is given to holiday parks that demonstrate policies that show active concern for the environment. Assisted by local nature groups and holidaymakers themselves, the award looks at virtually every aspect of park management – from the protection of plant and animal habitats, to the efficient use of energy and recycling. For more information about The David Bellamy Conservation Award please click here.