Walnut Lakes owners Tony and Maria Potts received their award from Dan Jarvis MBE MP, Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, during The Club's annual Parliamentary Reception.
Certificated Locations are privately-owned, maximum 5-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.
Tony and Maria have run Walnut Lakes CL for five years, and they absolutely love it! The CL is for adults-only - because of the lakes - having previously owned a campsite they wanted to accommodate caravanners in a less formal way to complement their existing holiday lodge and fishing lake enterprise.
Around 30% of their CL visitors go for the fishing, but most visit to enjoy the beautiful surrounding Lincolnshire area whilst appreciating the lakeside pitching with the calming views over the water.
Another added bonus to this scenic site is the regular fly-pasts by Lancaster Bombers and Spitfires, located at RAF Coningsby, which are en-route to shows across the country. Maria Potts says, "they are an amazing sight".
With regular public transport to the local village, the CL is great for motorhomers, and the flat terrain makes it ideal for cycling and walking. Most first-time visitors are amazed at what the area has to offer. The local award-winning village of Sutterton is a mile's walk away, it has two pubs, a restaurant, fish and chip shop, a church and a duck pond. Frampton Wash RSPB Reserve is a flat, three-mile cycle ride away down the lanes and it attracts birdwatchers from across the country. Spalding, five miles away, holds a world-famous Tulip Parade; one of the biggest events of the year in that area, and there are many other events for tourists including a regular farmers market.
Caravan Club Chairman, Grenville Chamberlain, commented: "The Caravan Club's unique 2,500-strong CL network is hugely popular with Club members. 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."
The awards didn't stop there, Hillcroft Certificated Location in Kilgetty, near Saundersfoot, Wales was awarded second place in the awards.
Hillcroft CL owners, Bruce and Ann Regimbal have been operating their CL since 2000, and this is the third time they have taken national honours, being placed third in 2004 and 2008. The CL is open all year and the Regimbals commented that there are definitely more people venturing out and about at all times of the year.
"We are absolutely thrilled to come second in these national awards," says Bruce. "We would like to take this opportunity to thank members for voting for us. After 12 years of running the site, we are still thoroughly enjoying it. And we would like to reassure everyone that when we are away our site minder, Mr Beaky, is still going strong and whistling at the ladies!" (NB Mr Beaky is the pet parrot of a regular member and a local site celebrity!).
And finally, another Lincolnshire Certificated Location was Honoured, with Keal Lodge Certificated Location taking third place.
Owners Keith and Alison Rogers also received their third-place award during The Club's Parliamentary Reception.
Keal Lodge CL is only a five-minute walk from the pretty, historic Lincolnshire village of Deeping St James with its pubs and restaurants, good local shops and riverside walks along the river Welland. The area has so much to offer; varied rolling countryside, quiet relaxing riverside walks to the local village, nearby is the most gorgeous of towns - Stamford, and from the site there is easy access to glorious Rutland Water. The site has fully serviced pitches, is open all year and offers WiFi access.
Alison Rogers says, "We knew we were doing something a bit different with our site, but the response from members who stay has been exceptional."