Eco-friendly tourism was on the agenda for Scotland’s Tourism Minister Richard Lochhead when he visited Findhorn Bay Holiday Park this month (02 October).
The holiday park based near Forres is championing green getaways on the Moray Firth.
Mr Lochhead attended as a guest of the Scottish holiday park association (BH&HPA) in advance of his being the principal speaker at the body’s Edinburgh annual conference in November.
The association said it was keen to show how many park businesses were helping to boost regional economies and create employment without damaging the environment.
The minister also made his contribution to a greener future by planting a commemorative hornbeam tree to mark what the park calls its “new series of eco-adventures”.
Mr Lochhead toured Findhorn Bay Holiday Park in the company of its manager Lesley Proctor and BH&HPA Scottish policy director Sarah Allanson.
The park, he heard, was based within the Findhorn Foundation Eco Village which, for over 50 years, has offered retreats, workshops and gatherings in its spectacular setting.
Electricity on the park is generated by wind turbines, supported by the grid using a green energy tariff, so reducing to a minimum Findhorn’s carbon footprint.
Its holiday accommodation is fully powered by green energy, and is connected to an ecological waste water treatment plant which also serves the 500 people living in the Eco Village.
Mr Lochhead also discussed the park’s plans to convert holiday caravans from gas to electricity, to invest in more eco-friendly accommodation, and its flood alleviation projects,
The tourism minister commented:
“Scotland’s breathtaking scenery and diverse landscapes provide caravaners and campers alike with a truly unique experience.
“Visitors staying in local campsites, caravan and holiday parks contribute to regional economies and create employment opportunities.
“Sustainability is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s tourism strategy and it is great to see first-hand, here at Findhorn Bay Holiday Park, the steps the caravan and motorhome industry are taking to champion green getaways to help Scotland achieve its net zero ambitions.”
The park is one of around 200 BH&HPA member-parks in Scotland which, said Sarah Allanson, are part of a sector generating £772 million of annual spending in mainly rural areas.
The industry also helps sustain over 14,300 full-time jobs throughout Scotland according to the same economic survey produced four years ago and currently being updated.
Lesley Proctor said she was delighted that the minister had been able to take time out to visit the park, and to see first hand its achievements to safeguard the environment:
“We are fortunate to be based in one of the loveliest parts of the Moray coast, and visitors especially enjoy exploring the unspoilt golden sandy beaches, coves and pine forests,” she said.
“Their spending also benefits many other smaller local businesses, such as shops, restaurants and visitor attractions, and supports the jobs they provide
“But beautiful though this region is, it is also a fragile environment, and we are conscious of the need to do everything possible to protect its ecological integrity for future generations.
“Our Eco Village also provides an educational and research facility to promote ecological water treatment worldwide, and it was pleasure to explain this in greater detail to the Minister.”
There is more information about the park at https://findhornbayholidaypark.com