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East Midlands Chamber News

Mercia Marina scoops fourth gold award

holiday lodges mercia marinaSouth Derbyshire’s Mercia Marina has won a Gold David Bellamy conservation award for the fourth year running.

The 74-acre marina, near Willington - the largest inland marina in Europe - received the award from the British Holiday & Home Parks Association (BH&HPA), of which celebrity conservationist David Bellamy is President.

The awards scheme recognises holiday parks for work they have done to protect or enhance the natural environment or wildlife.

Mercia Marina qualified for the scheme four years ago when it launched the development of its luxury holiday lodges.

The marina has since built 16 lodges overlooking its 24-acre lake and has permission to add a further ten.

Prof Bellamy last year hailed Mercia Marina as “a champion of all things green”, being particularly impressed by its efforts to improve biodiversity in and around the beauty spot as well as its enthusiastic committee of wildlife volunteers.

Robert Neff, general manager of Mercia Marina, said: “This is just the fourth time we’ve entered the awards scheme, and the fourth time our conservation efforts have been recognised with a gold award.

“The award is testament to all the hard work and planning of both the marina staff and the fantastic group of volunteers who help us look after the environment here.”

The awards scheme, which gives bronze, silver and gold accreditations, was co-founded in 1996 by naturalist and broadcaster Professor David Bellamy in partnership with the BH&HPA.

The assessors analyse everything from the toilet flush systems to the wildlife management to arrive at their award level.

Mercia Marina opened only as recently as 2008. Since that time, a six-figure sum has been spent on landscaping and conservation projects, such as tree planting and the creation of specific wildlife habitats.

The marina last year opened The Boardwalk, its new £1.7m waterside shopping, leisure and office development on the site, in conjunction with a new sensory garden, outdoor events area and programme of circular walks.