The forest is at the very heart of the Center Parcs experience, with rabbits and hedgehogs making their homes nestled in the woodland and frogs and newts enjoying the cool shaded areas around the streams and lakes. Center Parcs’ success as a family short break provider is a unique example of how the commercial needs of an organisation can be satisfied in harmony with the needs of the natural environment.
Prior to 1987, the 400 acres of woodland that is now home to Center Parcs Sherwood Forest was a commercial plantation of Corsican and Scots Pine, was of poor ecological value. When Center Parcs chose to build it’s first UK village in 1987, the Company decided to start an ecological monitoring programme in 1990 to protect and enhance the forest and the species that live within it.
In 20 years, Center Parcs has recorded over 3,300 species of flora and fauna at Sherwood Forest including 23 species of butterfly, 51 rare plants and insects as well as over 21 species of birds (8 of which are globally threatened).
The woodland has also been carefully managed and protected through the planting of over 500,000 indigenous trees and shrubs to diversify the landscape and 1.5 hectares of heathland. Managing a forest with such a wide variety of plants, animals, birds and insects, is not just a case of planting as many trees as possible and putting out suitable foods for animals, this is actually a relatively small part of the management. The forest is home to a wide variety of species and with each species needing a specific habitat; the forest needs to cater for all.
Based on this year’s annual ecological monitoring studies carried out on each village, the total number of species of Flora and Fauna found at all of Center Parcs’ forests was over 3,600. The impressive protection of biodiversity on all 4 sites is down to the important habitat management work carried out by Center Parcs’ team of dedicated conservation rangers, and local naturalists from the Wildlife Trust and specialist amateur interest groups
Center Parcs has been reporting on biodiversity for all 4 UK sites for many years and will continue to protect the species on these sites for many years to come.
Notes to editors
Ecological Facts about Sherwood Forest:
- Nature Centre (with 150 sq/m nature exhibition space and wetland trails around a small lake leading to a bird hide) was introduced in early 2005 to give guests an understanding of the flora and fauna within the forest at Sherwood
- There are currently 14 Rangers at Sherwood Forest, who look after the Forest
- Center Parcs was one of the first commercial organisations to launch its own Biodiversity Action Plan in 1990
- Sherwood Forest has its own Bat Box Scheme with bat lodges, bat boxes and nurseries dotted around the forest
- 10 species of bird at Sherwood Forest are on the UK red list (nationally scarce) including the Turtle Dove, Song Thrush and Spotted Flycatcher
- 409 species of moth live at Sherwood Forest and 148 species of bees and wasps
- Longhorn beetle is scatted around Britain but had not been seen in Nottinghamshire before 2006, when it was spotted at Sherwood Forest
Center Parcs was the first organisation to be awarded The Wildlife Trust’s Biodiversity Benchmarkfor all its sites in 2007 and has achieved this standard year after year. Following a rigorous audits, the Biodiversity Benchmark was presented to Center Parcs in recognition for its continual efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment at its four holiday villages across the UK.
Center Parcs was also awarded the Haymarket Green Business Award for Biodiversity Protection in 2009. The Biodiversity Protection category measured company leadership in safeguarding and enhancing habitats and species with reference to the managing, monitoring and executing of biodiversity protection across all sites. For more information, visit: www.greenbusinessawards.com
For more information, visit www.centerparcs.co.uk
Jessica Marshall-Pearce, Press Officer
Telephone: 01623 821723
Notes to Editors
- Center Parcs has five Villages across the UK; Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Longleat Forest in Wiltshire, Whinfell Forest in Cumbria and Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire which opened to guests on 6 June 2014
- As the leader in the UK short break holiday market, Center Parcs regularly achieves average annual occupancy in excess of 97%
- Center Parcs offers weekend, (Friday to Monday) or midweek (Monday to Friday) breaks and welcomes over 1.7 million guests each year, with 96% of guests expressing an intention to return
- The Center Parcs concept is to provide a range of high quality accommodation, shops, restaurants and exceptional leisure facilities, carefully nestled amongst 400 acres of protected forest environment
- This concept originated in Holland in 1967, with the first UK Center Parcs opening in 1987. Center Parcs is now a separate entity in the UK, owned by The Blackstone Group
- Center Parcs has been awarded the following accolades since 2008: the Green Business Award for Biodiversity Protection, Visit Britain 5 Star Rating, Hospitality Assured, Biodiversity Benchmark - Land Management, Carbon Trust Standard, Good Spa Guide Award, ISO14001, Investors in People
- Center Parcs has recently been announced ‘Best Family Holiday Provider’ in the Tommy’s Awards for the eleventh year in a row