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Center Parcs Whinfell Forest celebrates National Red Squirrel Week

Press release   •   Dec 28, 2012 00:00 GMT

Center Parcs Whinfell Forest is marking National Red Squirrel Week from 2 – 7 October, welcoming the Penrith and District Red Squirrel Group into the heart of the forest with fun ways for families to learn more about the endangered species.

Set in 400 acres of woodland, Whinfell Forest provides a sanctuary for endangered Red Squirrels as one of only 16 refugees in the UK. There are only 20,000 Red Squirrels left, most of which are in Cumbria.

Center Parcs Red Squirrel Ranger and winner of this year’s Red Squirrel Survival Trust Volunteer of the Year Award, Jerry Moss will have experts from the Penrith and District Red Squirrel Group at hand on 4 October, promoting the conservation of the Red Squirrel population and teaching families all about the precious species.

Also on offer during the week, Center Parcs is running it’s first ever Red Squirrel Search, where children and families are able to search the forest for clues and find their very own Red Squirrel keepsake to take home and treasure.

Jerry commented: “We work hard to ensure the well-being of our native and unique Red Squirrels within Center Parcs Whinfell Forest but also in the surrounding woodland area.

"This is a chance to embrace this week of awareness, allowing families to get involved and learn all about nature and this amazing species. We hope that families find the experts and activities lots of fun and hopefully they will see some Red Squirrels up close and personal too.”

Red Squirrels – the facts and figures:

  • There are only 20,000 of the endangered Red Squirrels left in the UK most of which are in Cumbria and Northumberland
  • The decline of Red Squirrels is directly attributed to the Grey Squirrel population introduced from America in 1976 and there are now three million Grey Squirrels in the UK
  • Larger Grey Squirrels out compete Red Squirrels for food but critically, a large number of them carry the Squirrelpox virus, an infection Red Squirrels are extremely vulnerable to
  • Penrith and District Red Squirrel Group charity promote the conservation of the Red Squirrel population, protecting them from extinction, educating and researching the unique mammals

For more information about short breaks at Center Parcs Whinfell Forest visit or contact 08448 267 723. Or, to find out more about Red Squirrels and the Penrith and District Squirrel Group visit

Contact information

Center Parcs Press Office

Telephone: 01623 821733

Sustainability facts and figures

Committed to enhancing the forest and wider environment, Center Parcs aims to be one of the leading sustainable ‘Large Scale Tourist Destinations’ in the UK.  The Center Parcs Sustainability Strategy, launched in 2011, promises to reduce Center Parcs carbon emissions by 20% and produce 10% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.  Center Parcs currently uses a variety of different energy saving choices including:

  • New and refreshed accommodation projects have included environmentally efficient technology such as:
    • Ground source heating
    • Solar panels
    • Photovoltaic
    • Combined heat and power plants
    • Energy-saving LED lighting
    • Water-efficient showers
    • Low-energy kitchen appliances
    • Intelligent thermostats
  • Electric vehicle fleet for housekeeping and technical services

Center Parcs is investing in energy efficiency and renewable technologies - such as District Heating - to achieve the aim of consuming 25% less than the average existing Center Parcs village.

Notes to Editors

  1. Center Parcs has five Villages across the UK; Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Longleat Forest in Wiltshire, Whinfell Forest in Cumbria and Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire which opened to guests on 6 June 2014
  2. As the leader in the UK short break holiday market, Center Parcs regularly achieves average annual occupancy in excess of 97%
  3. Center Parcs offers weekend, (Friday to Monday) or midweek (Monday to Friday) breaks and welcomes over 1.7 million guests each year, with 96% of guests expressing an intention to return
  4. The Center Parcs concept is to provide a range of high quality accommodation, shops, restaurants and exceptional leisure facilities, carefully nestled amongst 400 acres of protected forest environment
  5. This concept originated in Holland in 1967, with the first UK Center Parcs opening in 1987. Center Parcs is now a separate entity in the UK, owned by The Blackstone Group
  6. Center Parcs has been awarded the following accolades since 2008: the Green Business Award for Biodiversity Protection, Visit Britain 5 Star Rating, Hospitality Assured, Biodiversity Benchmark - Land Management, Carbon Trust Standard, Good Spa Guide Award, ISO14001, Investors in People
  7. Center Parcs has recently been announced ‘Best Family Holiday Provider’ in the Tommy’s Awards for the eleventh year in a row