Boom in community led campsites
Mar 19 2015 Posted by Samantha Marsh
Increase in community sites which feed profits back into local facilities
Camping and caravanning is already the nation’s favourite type of UK accommodation according to statistics from VisitEngland.* However, holidaymakers can get even more of a feel-good factor from their break thanks to an increase in community campsites.
These new sites, which give back part or all of their profits to the local community, have begun a new trend says Dan Yates, founder of outdoor accommodation specialist Pitchup.com: “We’ve noticed this year a new type of site signing up with us. Unlike a normal commercial enterprise, these sites plough their profits back into the community, whether that is to simply provide better facilities or to fund a local football team or swimming pool.
He continues: “These campsites are generally run by a small number of volunteers and we’re delighted to support our sector in creating a new model of accommodation that gives back to the community. Already these sites have excellent bookings for 2015, with several hundred nights sold already, proving there is a demand for this sort of feel-good holiday.”
Amongst the sites offering such incentives are:
- Bosavern Community Farm in Penzance is a small community run site offering just eight pitches for tents in this pretty region of rural Cornwall. The pitches are located in a large farm field which is owned and run by the local community. The farm was set up to provide sustainable living for the visitors and residents of St Just and the surrounding area. Visitors are encouraged to take part in farm activities during their stay including collecting eggs, feeding chickens and planting and harvesting crops. Whether staying for a true rural escape or bringing the family to learn about eco- and sustainable living, this is a truly unique campsite. The on-site farm shop sells all the local produce including eggs, vegetables, honey, jams, chutney, chocolate, candles, soaps and even hand-knitted socks! The facilities are basic but there are ‘tree toilets’ with a composting system. Pitches cost from £14 per night.
- Lazonby Campsite near Penrith in Cumbria enjoys the benefits of being located next to the local heated outdoor pool, which the site owners allow guests to use for an additional charge. Funds collected are reinvested into the facilities to ensure that visitors and locals can enjoy this fantastic feature for years to come. With a constant temperature of 26 degrees and lifeguards on duty at all opening times, the pool is a great addition to any family holiday. Visitors to the site also benefit from the use of the pool’s shower and toilet blocks and have access to the café which sells a range of drinks, snacks, sweets and ice creams. Lazonby Campsite is a small site offering just a few pitches for tents, tourers and motorhomes. Pitches cost £15 per night.
- Mousehole Camping, located in this popular and pretty Cornish fishing village, is set at a local football club and supports the local team through the profits from camping. Visitors to this small tent-only site can enjoy a stay for just £14 per night. The benefit of being based at the football club means visitors have use of the clubhouse which includes shower and toilet blocks, a bar, pool table, table football and television. The site is also just 500 metres from the local pub where wifi is available.
For more information about Pitchup.com and community sites visit www.pitchup.com.
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*Domestic camping and caravan sites accounted for 61.9m holiday bednights in Britain in 2013, more than any other accommodation sector including hotels/motels (49.3m) (source: GBTS/VisitEngland).
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Contact Samantha Marsh or Fran Stephan at White Tiger PR
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Founded in 2009 by former lastminute.com man, Dan Yates, multi-award winning Pitchup.com is a free guide to all types of outdoor accommodation in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Croatia, Luxembourg, Austria, Poland and Switzerland. Pitchup.com, which currently lists over 5,800 sites, provides users with a simple platform in which they can search and book an outdoor holiday with total ease: the customer journey from landing on the homepage through to booking a holiday can be completed in as little as four pages. The site also goes beyond traditional searches by allowing users to search for accommodation based on more than 80 criteria, such as adults only and campfires allowed, and view nearby events, Good Pub Guide pubs and VisitBritain attractions. It’s also possible to check out water bathing water quality in the surrounding area with data provided by the European Environment Agency. Users can also search on the offers page to find the best deals available.
In 2013 Pitchup.com became the first business of its type to launch a bookable mobile app and site, making the site easily accessible to users of mobile and tablet devices. The mobile site, m.pitchup.com, now accounts for 21% of bookings.
Pitchup.com enables users to search for all types of parks and sites from the major brands right through to one-off campsites and unique outdoor accommodation options, which may not have previously had a web presence.
Awards include Best UK Travel Website of the Year at the British Travel Press Awards 2011, and most recently Best Travel / Leisure / Sports / Mobile Strategy / Campaign at the Marketing on Mobile Awards 2014.