Volunteers come out to support the Ruda Holiday Park Sand Dune Project
A major new conservation initiative has been launched in Croyde Bay with more than 100 people from North Devon joining forces with team members from Parkdean Resorts’ Ruda Holiday Park and local environmental charities to restore the sand dunes behind the beach.
The project was launched in partnership with Natural England, the government’s natural environment advisor in England. Home to a variety of rare plants and animals, the dunes are a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a vital part of coastal ecology, but over time they have been worn down by walkers and bodyboarders. The project will restore the lost marram grass, which will begin to build back the sand, with fencing and signage installed to protect the area and allow the sand dunes to grow for five years.
On Saturday 25th February almost 50 members of the local community in Croyde joined beach manager Holly Robertson and her team for a shot at the North Dunes planting grass and installing fencing. The following week, in partnership with Community Environmental Educational Therapy CIC, 20 children took part in digging and planting, while over 30 students from Ilfracombe Academy and Petroc helped dig grass in overgrown areas as part of Plastic Free North Devon’s Ocean. Academy of Explorers.
Holly Robertson, Beach Manager, Ruda Holiday Park, said: “The dunes are such an important habitat and we are so grateful for everyone who got involved. It was amazing to see so many people come together to join in and we couldn’t have done it so quickly without everyone’s help. The support we receive throughout the year from local residents and fantastic charities such as CEEC CIC and Plastic Free North Devon shows how important the beach is to everyone in Croyde and we are proud to work together to preserve and improve the local environment. .”
The dune works are part of a major program of activities being delivered by Parkdean Resorts, which owns Ruda Holiday Park and Croyde Beach, and the local community in Croyde in 2023. Through a mutual funding agreement with Croyde Area Residents Association (CARA ), Parkdean Resorts, which is the UK’s largest holiday park operator, has approved grants totaling more than £20,000 across a range of projects, with the Ruda team also continuing to spearhead key conservation projects that will make a meaningful difference to the local community and its environment.
Residents of Georgeham Parish were invited to apply for grants last year and the first projects chosen by CARA include the development of a new clubhouse for Croyde Surf Life Saving Club, the purchase of an adaptive surfboard and the creation of the first ever beach. accessible changing facilities.
In addition to the sand dune project, the team at Ruda is committed to responsibly managing the beach to keep it fun, enjoyable and clean for the community and the many vacationers who visit it each year. Teams from the park carry out regular beach cleans alongside holidaymakers and volunteers from the local community to ensure it remains safe for swimmers, surfers and walkers, as well as the diverse flora and fauna that inhabit the beach and nearby sand dunes.
Ruda is also nearing the end of eight years of senior-level oversight, during which the team took on a number of environmental management programs to protect the area and conserve its wildlife, protect its natural resources and promote public access and understanding. In addition, the team works with the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust to help increase the quality of the bumble bee habitat on Croyde Beach and runs bumble bee walks to help educate visitors. As a result, the Brown-banded Carder Bee, a rare bumblebee that has a population at Braunton Burrows, has expanded its population to new locations, including park-owned land.