Multi award-winning Cofton Holidays, located near Dawlish, has boosted its environmental credentials following a £200,000 investment in 11 electric vehicles for its housekeeping and maintenance teams.
The move follows on from a string of sustainability initiatives that have been implemented by the family-run holiday park, including the installation of 24 public electric vehicle (EV) charging points to meet demand from increasing numbers of guests visiting with EVs. Research from HeyCar shows that EV registrations in the UK were 76.3% higher in 2021 compared to 2020, and numbers of EV vehicles in the UK are only expected to rise.
Four EVs are now in operation within the housekeeping team. Three vehicles have been introduced to the maintenance team. A further two EV buggies and two minivans are also in operation across the site. In keeping with their commitment to reducing environmental impact, all five of Cofton’s Directors have also switched to electric vehicles.
This investment is the latest in a series of sustainable initiatives undertaken by Cofton Holidays. This includes a two-acre rewilding project, the introduction of wildlife corridors, and the installation of solar panel units on the park’s 12 luxury lodges and toilet blocks.
Earlier this year, Cofton also invested £17,000 in 16 e-bikes for guests to hire. With miles of cycle paths on its doorstep, Cofton guests now have the option to explore the Exe Estuary with the power of electric, giving further reason for visitors to leave their cars behind. Available to hire from £40 per day to those aged 14 and over, the e-bikes allow guests to visit and support other local businesses, whilst helping to protect the local environment.
Chris Jeffery, Director at Cofton Holidays and a driving force behind sustainable projects at the holiday park, commented: “For us, sustainability is the future of tourism. It’s why we’re investing heavily in green initiatives.
“As one of Devon’s leading holiday parks, we’re encouraging other South West businesses, and those who live in and visit our beautiful region, to become more environmentally aware. We need to practice what we preach, which is why we’re adopting electric vehicle alternatives. These not only reduce emissions on site, and lower our fuel costs, but they are quieter, which means our team can work efficiently whilst keeping noise to a minimum.”
Chris continued: “Introducing EVs into our daily operations is all part of our drive towards becoming one of the country’s leading sustainable holiday parks. As a business which welcomes visitors from far and wide to South Devon, looking after the local environment and encouraging our guests to do the same is really important to us.
“That is why we’ve also introduced e-bike hire, providing a sustainable way for guests to explore the local area. It’s all part of our ongoing commitment to introducing new initiatives that will continue to make a difference in the fight against climate change.”
Cofton Holidays has long been committed to sustainability. The 2021 Western Morning News Business Awards winner for Environment and Sustainability has achieved Gold at the David Bellamy Conservation awards for over 20 years.
In addition to its new EVs and electric car charging points, Cofton has installed solar panels on the roof of its indoor leisure complex (30kwh), luxury lodges (142.35kwh), several toilet blocks (62.9kwh in total) and its slate office building (8.14kwh). Any energy that isn’t used inside each facility is fed back into the Cofton network and anything not used goes into the grid. Currently, Cofton’s total max KWH production is 243kwh and the park is looking at ways to double this within the next two years.
In 2020, Cofton embarked on a rewilding project during lockdown to encourage enhanced biodiversity on site. Combined with the introduction of nature corridors through the planting of additional hedges, shrubs and trees, as well as the introduction of wildflower zones and tussocky grassland that’s cut biennially, Cofton is making good on its commitment to enhance the on-site environment for insects, birds, bats, butterflies, bees and small mammals, making the park a haven for both wildlife and visitors to enjoy.
With over 80 acres of exclusive parkland located amongst five stunning lakes, Cofton Holidays offers a variety of year-round accommodation options including luxury lodges with hot tubs, cottages, apartments, holiday homes, and a campsite. Facilities at the park include four dining options, a pub, heated indoor pool, a fully equipped gym, sauna and steam rooms, a games zone, an entertainment programme for children and adults, an amusement arcade, and indoor and outdoor play areas, including a high ropes course which opened earlier this year.