Ruda Holiday Park is helping to connect vulnerable children to their environment with the Wave Rangers social action project, an offshoot of The Wave Project. Owned by Parkdean Resorts, the UK’s leading holiday park operator, Ruda got involved with Wave Rangers at its launch, just over a year ago in North Devon, and the scheme has now extended its reach to South Devon as well.
Through undertaking practical conservation work and nature-based activities such as beach cleaning, bug hunting and stream-kick sampling, Wave Rangers members complete levels of the John Muir Award, which encourages people of all backgrounds to connect with, enjoy and care for wild places. Each participant also receives a surfing lesson with the Wave Project as a reward for their hard work. The Wave Project was founded in Watergate Bay, Cornwall, in 2010, and is the world’s first ‘surf therapy’ course funded by a government health service.
Sessions for children of all ages
Spanning across all age groups, the Wave Rangers comprise groups of individual children keen to be involved in learning about the environment, as well as whole school classes eager to reconnect with their peers after a year of home schooling. The Wave Rangers also hold a variety of sessions to build the children’s skills and knowledge, including sessions on micro plastic awareness, pond dipping, rock pooling, gardening and practical habitat management skills.
Ruda Holiday Park are now also involved in another group inspired by the Wave Project, called Access for All. The group was started by a local mother of a child with disabilities who is part of the Wave Project alongside local councillor Pru Maskell, and Ruda beach team manager Holly Robertson, and aims to improve beach access and amenities for people with disabilities.
Public beach cleans and recycling
These projects are just two examples of the environmental and community engagement initiatives taking place at Ruda Holiday Park. The park runs bi-monthly public beach cleans in collaboration with Plastic Free North Devon and Councillor Maskell, and is also part of the Say No to Cheap Bodyboards campaign – a project which involves collecting bodyboards from the beach every year to be recycled as part of Keep Britain Tidy’s Wave of Waste initiative. The park is also committed to educating the local community, and is part of a climate emergency Parish Council group that discusses how the community can bring about positive change, and works with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust on monitoring species on its two on-site registered bee walks.
Steve Richards, CEO, Parkdean Resorts, said: “At Parkdean Resorts we are committed to protecting our environment and having a positive impact on the local community, and the work that the team at Ruda is doing is a shining example of this. The Wave Rangers project is a fantastic way to engage local children and educate them about the importance of looking after our environment and our beaches, and we hope this will inspire them to continue to look after the planet and learn about what they can do to bring about positive change.”