First and foremost Sally and I hope that you, your family and close friends are all well and have escaped the dreadful pandemic gripping our country. It has been a testing time for all of us and our daily lives have changed beyond our wildest dreams. Our lifestyles are so far distant than any of us could have ever imagined 2 months ago! That said, it is amazing to witness how the British people have come together in a time of crisis and helped others in need. It makes me very proud to be British.
We have been affected like everyone else in the country. We should have opened the Park on Friday 27th March but on the 23rd March the government advised us to keep our Park closed to the public in the interest of public health. Our gate has remained closed since then. The financial damage to our business is huge and unfortunately the grass and hedges keep growing and the ongoing list of essential maintenance seems never ending. We are however proud to say that the Park is looking amazing and we are certainly ready for when we can open the gate and allow you to visit again.
We like you have been following the regular updates in the National media and as the infection rate slowly declines and the “R” number stays below 1, we hope that we have at last turned a corner and can look positively to the future.
We are receiving calls daily to ask when we are likely to open the Park. The answer is quite simply – when it is safe to do so. Our governing body the BHHPA are in constant communication with government bodies to ascertain when it may be safe to open, and more importantly what precautions we will have to implement in order to respect social distancing.
Our industry is classified as an “open air hotel” and a lesser risk than a traditional hotel where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. Our main problem will be to address whatever precautions are recommended by official bodies and the BHHPA. Your safety is paramount but until we have formal guidance, we can only assume what we may have to do in order to give you the best protection whilst visiting our Park.
At the moment we have been advised that hospitality may be phased back into our daily lives from the 4th July 2020. This date will be subject to review and will be very dependent upon how the public have responded to the current relaxation measures. As long as the infections levels do not rise, we are hoping that we will be able to open in early July 2020.
When we do open we believe that it will be conditional upon social distancing controls being in place. We have a problem in that our main shower block is very communal and distancing will be virtually impossible. Unless we receive advice based upon strong scientific evidence contradicting this, and confirming that communal shower blocks are not a risk, we do not see how we can open our shower and toilet blocks to our customers.
The following is our suggestions as to how we can effectively address the health risk and unless new advice and evidence follows, this is our understanding on a way forward.
As a touring park, many of our visitors have caravans and motor homes with their on board facilities within their accommodation. If we can open the Park in July, it makes total sense to ask customers who visit the Park after 4th July to use them and we will keep our communal facilities closed for the time being.
Tents are slightly more difficult but it is not uncommon for tent customers to have a portable loo (there are many on the market) and use that. We have three chemical waste and grey water points around the site for the safe disposal of chemicals. Personal washing will be back to the “bowl and flannel” concept, but something that could work for some people.
We would anticipate spreading out tents and units as far as possible but in any event our license conditions already stipulate that all units must be at least 3 metres apart – so in this regard we are already compliant.
In order to protect our staff we will always maintain a safe distance. The reception shop will be closed (although we can still supply gas and specific stock items upon request) and a cordoned off area will be constructed to enable checking in at a distance. Most bookings will be paid in advance over the telephone but for those extending their stay or have called in on the off chance of a pitch, a contactless card payment can be made. If over the limit it will be chip and pin but we will have disinfection measures in place.
For the obvious reasons, the children’s play area will be out of bounds.
We will remind customers of their obligations on social distancing should we witness a relapse. It goes without saying that if any guest or member in their party becomes unwell, in the interest of other guests, they must notify a warden immediately and the whole party must leave the Park to return home where they can see their family doctor.
So if we have not managed to put you off and you are still planning a visit to Salcombe Regis, we will be delighted to see you as soon as we are able to open our gate. The weather has been amazing this year, the local walks are stunning and the vegetation is so bright and vibrant that this will be an amazing place for you to get away from home and enjoy the open countryside we have right on our doorstep.
You can still book using our online booking system should you wish to reserve your chosen pitch. We will happily take a provisional booking and better still, you will not have to pay a deposit until restrictions have been lifted. If we are not able to open in time for your chosen date, we can quite easily move it to another date of your choosing.
For our seasonal and regular customers with bookings already in hand, we wish to thank you all again most sincerely for your patience and understanding in what has been a most challenging and frustrating time for all of us. We can assure you that we are just as keen as you to get you back on the Park but safety is paramount.
As soon as we receive any further information we will post it on our web site. If you have any specific questions please do not hesitate to drop us an email and we will come back to you as soon as possible.
In the meantime, please keep well and safe and hopefully we will see you all sometime soon.
Mark & Sally