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Photo: Greetham Retreat.

Greetham Retreat Certificated Location (CL), in Horncastle, Lincolnshire, has been awarded first-place in The Caravan Club’s CL of the Year Awards 2013, voted for by The Caravan Club’s one million members and presented at the House of Commons. Owners Rob and Jeanette Folwell received their award from Mr Gordon Marsden MP, Shadow Minister for Transport, during The Club’s annual Parliamentary Reception on Monday, 18 November.

Certificated Locations are privately-owned, maximum five-van sites found across the UK, many in idyllic and remote locations on farms, country estates and beside inns, which can provide a valuable, additional income stream for local communities. These awards are presented at the House of Commons in recognition of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act (1960) which enables The Caravan Club to grant certificates to landowners to operate CLs.

Set in four acres of tranquil grounds with wildlife ponds, wildflower meadows and woodland, Greetham Retreat opened in 2011 following Rob’s retirement from the Police Force a few years earlier, where he and Jeanette located to Lincolnshire. The couple built the CL site themselves during the autumn of 2010, planting some 650 trees. It has hard standing pitches and one alternative grass pitch and includes a Club standard service point, heated shower and WC room.

The site is situated in the centre of Lincolnshire and is within easy reach of the east coast with its many sandy beaches and other parts of the county, including the medieval and vibrant city of Lincoln with its magnificent Cathedral and Castle. A short drive away is the famous aviation heritage venues of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, displaying Lancaster Bombers and the Spitfire and Hurricane fighter planes from WWII.

Of their win, Rob and Jeanette say, “We are so proud of our CL and amazed at the generosity of The Caravan Club members who have visited and voted for us. We thank you all so very much, this Award really means so much to us both.”

Low Moor Head CL in Longtown, Cumbria, has been awarded second place in the Competition. A former dairy farm, owners Owen and Adele Taylor, purchased the site in 2002 and decided to set up the family run site in 2005. Situated in the hamlet of Easton, with a woodland backdrop of Heathery Belt Wood, the local town of Longtown is situated just six miles from Carlisle which is steeped in Roman history, being the gateway to both the Scottish borders and England. Some three miles away is the world famous blacksmith’s shop at Gretna Green, founded in 1754 and renowned for runaway marriages.

The site is open all year round and all pitches are hard standing. Toilet and shower facilities are available and super pitch hook-ups have recently been installed incorporating individual electric hook-ups, fresh water and a waste water point.

Of the business, Owen says, “We researched facilities at other CL sites and received customer feedback as we are very aware of the importance of taking care of the environment. In fact, we have gained the Cumbria Business Environment Network Gold Award having implemented and Environmental Policy of recycling, composter, the planting of trees, shrubs and plants to encourage insects and wildlife. We also think it is important to provide information on other local businesses in the area and have set up an information centre.”

East Fortune CL in North Berwick has been awarded third place in the prestigious Awards. It has been open since 2002 and is owned and run by Grant and Jane who are the fourth generation of the Brand family to farm East Fortune Farm, which extends to just under 100 acres and boasts an award winning pedigree Hampshire Down sheep flock.

The site is a family run affair with well maintained facilities and visitors are encouraged to explore and enjoy the walkways around the farm as well as meeting the animals if they wish. Beautiful local beaches and 22 golf courses are within easy reach and the town of East Lothian close by is the home of Concorde, the National Museum of Flight. Sea fishing and pond fishing at Markle Fisheries, only five miles from the CL, is one of East Lothian’s most beautiful and popular seaside towns, traditionally known as ‘The Biarritz of the North’ and hosts the award winning tourist attraction, the Scottish Seabird Centre. With plenty of historical attractions, shops, bars and restaurants nearby, just a 30-minute train ride will find you in the city centre of Edinburgh.

Of the business, Jane says, “We didn’t know anything about CLs until my father, himself a keen caravanner for many years, highlighted the potential and we decided to investigate it as a diversification for the farm. We love welcoming visitors and there’s nothing better than hearing them say what a fantastic holiday they had at our home and that they plan to return soon.”
The site has also, in the past, been awarded three regional commendations for CL of the Year for the Scotland region, in 2004, 2010 and 2012.

Caravan Club Chairman, Grenville Chamberlain, commented, “Access to The Caravan Club’s unique 2,500-strong CL network is a huge benefit of membership and each and every CL is a gem in the jewelled crown of the overall sites network. CL owners are to be congratulated on their commitment to providing our members with a warm welcome and an exceptional place to enjoy their caravanning as well as the massive contribution they play in boosting local tourism economies.”

Overall Results

1st Mr and Mrs R Folwell (Rob and Jeanette) Greetham Retreat, Greetham Lodge, Tetford Road, Greetham, Horncastle, Lincolnshire, LN9 6PT
(Horncastle CL No 1014)

2nd Mr O Taylor, (Owen and Adele) Low Moor Head Farm, Longtown, CA6 5RG
(Longtown CL No 287) regional award 2009, 2010

3rd Mr and Mrs G Brand (Grant and Jane) East Fortune Farm, 6 New Row, East Fortune, North Berwick, EH39 5JU
(North Berwick – CL No 2411) regional awards 2004, 2010, 2012

Mr and Mrs A McNish, Higher Bochym Farm, Cury Cross Lanes, Helston, TR12 7AZ
(Mullion – CL No 181); regional award 2011

Mr D Hunter, Poole Farm, St Giles on the Heath, Launceston, PL15 9SX
(Launceston – CL No 162)

Mr and Mrs P Hindmoor, Crofton Hall, Crofton, Thursby, Carlisl, CA5 6QD
(Carlisle – CL No 269) national award 2nd 2012

Mr and Mrs B D Regimbal, Hillcroft, Hill Lane, Kilgetty, SA68 0QT
(Saundersfoot – CL No 2283) regional awards 2002, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2012, national awards 3rd 2004, 3rd 2008, 2nd 2011

Central England
Mr and Mrs K Rogers, Keal Lodge, Back Lane, Deeping St James, Peterborough, PE6 8RT
(Market Deeping – CL No 1045)
Regional awards: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2010 national awards, 3rd 2002, 2nd 2007, 1st 2009, 2011

Mr J Lamb, 7 Holding, Leadketty, Dunning, Perth, PH2 0QN
(Perthshire and Kinross – CL No 2444)
Regional awards 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, national awards 2nd 2004, 3rd 2007

Christopher Macgowan