July 14th 2014 is a very special date for Center Parcs Longleat Forest, it marks twenty years since the village opened to guests for the first time.
As the third of the Center Parcs villages to be built in the UK, Longleat Forest became an instant hit with guests and has become one of the most popular short break destinations in the UK.
For 7,300 consecutive days, Longleat Forest has never closed its doors and has welcomed 6 million guests. During that period;
- The Cycle Centre has hired out 1.8 million bikes
- 3 million children’s meals have been served in their restaurants
- The Pancake House have served 3 million pancakes, which were made from 350,000 litres of pancake mix and, if stacked, would reach more than 38,000ft high (which is 10,000 ft higher than Mount Everest)
- More than 2,000 species have been recorded living at Center Parcs Longleat Forest, 93 of which are considered rare across the UK
- Archery arrows have been fired far enough to reach the moon from Earth
- The Land Train that takes guests around the village has covered 900,000 miles - that’s almost equivalent to 36 times around the equator
Care and enhancement of the forest have been at the very heart of day to day business at Longleat Forest. One of the most notable achievements has been the increase in breeding pairs of Siskins on site. These bright yellow birds are scarce in Wiltshire and, with careful monitoring of the species and habitat management, there has been a recognised increase in breeding of this species at Center Parcs Longleat Forest in recent years.
Commenting on the success of the last 20 years, General Manager Andy De’Ath said: “Longleat Forest is still as popular today as it was on the day it opened and I’d like to thank my team for all their hard work and dedication over the years. Most of our team live really close to the village and so we are an important part of the community. We now have a team of more than 1,300 staff, 32 of whom have been with us since day 1!”
Longleat Forest has had a significant impact on the local area since arriving 20 years ago, bringing local employment opportunities as well as a £20m boost to the local economy each year. The village also works with a variety of local suppliers; their businesses flourishing as a result.
Notes to Editors
- 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
- As the leader in the UK short break holiday market, Center Parcs regularly achieves average annual occupancy in excess of 97%
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Center Parcs has recently been announced ‘Best Family Holiday Provider’ in the Tommy’s Awards for the eleventh year in a row