We feature three popular concepts which will help to enhance your outdoor areas and allow guests to distance themselves in an appealing environment…
Being outside is the cornerstone of every Great British park holiday – reconnecting with nature, enjoying the sun (sometimes!) and getting plenty of fresh air all contributes to that feeling of escapism and getting away from the daily grind, says CIPO editor Victoria Galligan.
And in the aftermath of the Covid-19 lockdown, we have been actively encouraged to spend as much time as possible outdoors as the virus is less likely to be transmitted outside.
Now is the ideal time to prepare your outdoor areas for next summer’s busy season – and there are plenty of ways to do that as we’ve seen in holiday parks across the country. From colourful outdoor splash pools to stylish bars and cafes which offer terraces to relax on, there are some fantastic examples out there where outdoor space has been utilised to the maximum. And these considerable investments have all paid off, all be it unintentionally, in this post-lockdown era we find ourselves living in.
Outdoor seating areas become a social hub for parks during the warmer months, and thanks to the innovative outdoor heating options which are now on the market, these areas are being put to use long after the kids have gone back to school.
Pergolas can provide an impressive frame for outdoor seating and entertainment areas. A pergola can also be used as a covered walkway to enhance the aesthetic of an outdoor area, or as a space of quiet contemplation within a holiday park, away from the chaos of the children’s play area.
The high durability of aluminium has made it a popular choice among holiday parks installing pergolas in recent years. Nick Cowley, managing director at exterior cladding and outdoor living product Endurawood, said: “While pergolas are designed to be sturdy, it’s important that they are made from a strong material to avoid collapsing and causing injury.
“Endurawood is ideal for outdoor living products including pergolas, fencing and decking, as it is made from strong, lightweight aluminium. This means it is tougher than wood and is easier to install. In addition, Endurawood is available in a variety of natural wood shades, suitable for a range of garden styles.”
A luxury development recently opened up at five-star Retallack Resort & Spa in Cornwall which maximised plot space and took advantage of the surrounding panoramic views by including roof terraces.
Retallack’s stylish boutique barns were masterminded by Notting Hill-based House Nine Design – the team behind the Gara Rock Hotel interiors refurb in Devon.
The team at Aria Resorts, which owns Retallack as well as luxury holiday parks in Scotland, Yorkshire, Dorset and Devon, wanted to offer guests holiday homes which oozed new world luxurious sophistication, blending architectural design and unique, bespoke interiors.
Complete with burnt black larch wood and floor-to-ceiling glass frontages, and some with rooftop hot tubs, the new boutique barns at Retallack Resort & Spa provide an elevated level of holiday retreats for guest, holiday homeowners and investors alike.
The interior of the two, three and four-bedroom boutique barns were designed by Notting Hill-based House Nine.
Jojo Barr, founder of House Nine Design, was commissioned in 2017 to provide the interior planning and styling for Aria Resort’s hotly anticipated Gara Rock Hotel refurb near Salcombe in the South Hams. The far-flung, sprawling clifftop destination has won ongoing praise so it was only natural that the Aria team would turn to House Nine again, this time for the development of the boutique barns set in the heart of Cornwall.
Decking has been a staple addition to caravan parks for some years now – not only does it allow a weather-proof, raised platform to be built around individual holiday homes, but it looks great in communal outdoor areas such as those at bars and restaurants too.
Recently, decking specialist NeoTimber embarked upon a holiday park improvement project which was part of a wider renovation, to improve the outdoor areas of both private accommodation sites; as well as communal, recreational spaces.
The client, Bowbrook Lodge, said its top priority was a durable outdoor flooring solution – a deck board strong enough to withstand traffic from crowds of people; but also resistant to staining in order to prolong its lifespan. A neutral colour tone was also preferable; something that wouldn’t quickly become outdated and would match the cladding of the lodges.
NeoTimber spokesperson Katy Westwood said: “While the customer showed great interest in both our Classic and Deluxe samples, we were inclined to sway them towards the latter of the two for the 360 degree protection, enhancing stain and fade resistance. The project resulted in a truly fantastic install, as I’m sure you’ll agree.”
Jay Davie, NeoTimber’s Sales Team Leader, worked on the Bowbrook Lodge project and said: “The client had previously been plagued by the many pitfalls that come with traditional timber and wanted to avoid decking alternatives like PVC. The client was also on the lookout for a low-maintenance, and safe solution but wanted to ensure that the aesthetics of the project remained authentic and in keeping with the wider area.”
The client opted for the Deluxe Teak deck board, a premium capped composite decking range which offers resistance to weathering, with enhanced UV and stain resistance. The product was used across a number of sites and has been purchased throughout the course of a year.
For businesses considering the longevity of outdoor furniture and its impact on the environment, recycled plastic is becoming a popular choice.
Family-run business Kedel Limited uses British-sourced waste plastic to develop their eco-friendly plastic products, such as picnic benches, decking and fencing.
The Bolton-based recycled plastics company uses innovative manufacturing techniques to convert CD and contact lens cases into useful materials for the building trade and into outdoor furniture.
Kedel focuses on maintenance-free, waterproof and mould-resistant products which offer more longevity than classic wood materials. Due to the recycling process, sustainable products are guaranteed.
"We wanted to have an ethical business that would have a positive impact on our community and the world as a whole." says Lewis Walch, company secretary and one of the founding brothers in this family enterprise. "For the last 11 years we have been using the CD and contact lens cases as our main components in our product range, and it uses less energy to do this than what is needed to create ‘virgin plastic’ making it much better for the environment."
Only 7% of the plastic produced each year is currently recycled, with polystyrene waste taking up about 30% of landfill. Manufacturing their innovative eco-friendly products in a production unit in Burnley, Kedel melts down the plastic into pellets before extruding them to produce versatile "plastic wood" products. All off-cuts are fully recycled back into the manufacturing process to make the range of products 100% eco-friendly.
The bright colours which are available are also a draw for buyers. Colours can be chosen to complement a current design theme or to introduce a fresh focal point to outdoor areas.
ASSESSING YOUR OUTDOOR AREAS
When embarking on a new outdoor project, it’s important to ask:
• Will the project will add value to your business?
• Will people choose to use the facility?
• Is it absolutely necessary to go ahead and make such big changes?
If the “new normal” is to continue into 2021 and beyond, with social distancing playing a huge part in the way holiday parks operate, then I think the answer to those questions is a resounding “yes”.