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Center Parcs Woburn Forest off to a flying start

Press release   •   Nov 26, 2012 00:00 GMT

Specially designed bird boxes were installed today at the new Center Parcs Woburn Forest site to mark the start of leisure buildings and lodge construction.

Center Parcs Chief Executive, Martin Dalby, was joined by the business’ Landscape Asset Manager, Rich Watson, Woburn Construction Director, Don Camilleri and representatives from contractors, Birse Civils, Bowmer & Kirkland and ISG.

Two bird boxes were handcrafted from FSC sourced timber by local carpenter, James Archer, whilst Chief Executive Martin Dalby, who is himself a keen amateur carpenter, created his own unique bird box. Two of the boxes, which have been fitted to trees in Woburn Forest, have been designed to resemble the buildings that will feature at Woburn Forest when it opens in spring 2014.

One of the bird boxes, which has been designed to resemble the Subtropical Swimming Paradise, was fitted by Paul Lomas, Construction Director from Bowmer & Kirkland, the company responsible for building the leisure buildings and facilities at Woburn Forest. Jonathan Kell, Regional Managing Director from ISG, the contractor responsible for construction of the 625 lodges, hung a bird box which had been designed in the shape of one of the woodland lodges that will be built at Woburn Forest. Martin Dalby hung his own bird box creation inspired by the complete layout design of Woburn Forest.

Each existing Center Parcs forest is approximately 400 acres in size and is home to thousands of animals including significant birdlife. There are approximately 100 bird boxes at each of the existing Center Parcs locations, which are monitored and maintained by a team of conservation rangers and Woburn Forest will be cared for in the same way. Woburn Forest is home to 43 separate bird species; among these are buzzards, kestrels, owls and the lesser spotted woodpecker. Construction of the site was put on hold until the end of nesting season to avoid disrupting the resident bird life.

Martin Dalby, Chief Executive, Center Parcs UK, said:

“We are committed to protecting and enhancing the natural environment during the build of Woburn Forest and the fitting of the bird boxes will mark the continuation of our commitment to the care and protection of this forest. The start of the leisure building and lodge construction is a true milestone in this project and it is exciting to think that in around 18 month’s time, we will be welcoming our first guests to this new Center Parcs.”

Jonathan Kell, Regional MD of ISG, adds:

“It’s incredibly exciting to be a part of this project. We have worked hard to develop plans which meet a very specific criteria to ensure the biodiversity of Woburn Forest is protected and maintained long in to the future. The lodges will be built using sustainably sourced timber and benefit from modern insulation materials.”

Paul Lomas, Construction Director of Bowmer & Kirkland says:

“We have a great relationship with Center Parcs and feel proud to have been given the contract to construct the iconic Subtropical Swimming Paradise as well as other leisure facilities. Many people will have memories of enjoying the wave machine with their family on a Center Parcs break and it’s a great privilege to be involved in creating this brand new site.”

Nick Osborne, Regional Operations Director of Birse Civils adds:

‘’As Center Parcs’ infrastructure contractor, we are proud to be involved in this prestigious project; and therefore committed in our endeavours to provide a finished scheme which enhances and brings out the very best in this wooded environment’’.

Birse Civils, Bowmer & Kirkland & ISG are now on site working together on this unique build which involves 1,200 people helping to construct the new Center Parcs, which is due for completion in spring 2014.

Woburn Forest will be Center Parcs’ fifth UK Village and will comprise 625 forest lodges, a 75 bedroom hotel and spa with 6 associated spa suites and two leisure buildings including indoor sports facilities, Subtropical Swimming Paradise, restaurants and retail outlets

Center Parcs Woburn Forest

Center Parcs is the UK’s leading short breaks operator and every year over 1.6 million guests stay at the existing four villages each set in 400 acres of woodland. Spring 2014 sees us open our fifth village, Center Parcs Woburn Forest, a perfect location for families in London and the South East.

Our fifth Village completes our UK footprint and means that there is a Center Parcs within easy reach of all UK families. It has also given us the opportunity to bring something new to the Center Parcs family with a number of exciting new concepts which we will be announcing shortly.

Contact information

Jessica Marshall-Pearce, Press Officer

Telephone: 01623 821723


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