Family camping near Glastonbury, Wells and Shepton Mallet, Somerset, UK

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  • 22-March-10 ALL SYSTEMS GO

    All Systems Go!



    It has been a very long and very hard winter, the coldest for 31 years I’m told, but we are now just days away from opening for the 2010 camping season. March is one of our most frantic months, as we try to fix all the bust pipes, wave a paintbrush at everything that doesn’t move and a grease gun at things that do. It’s also one of the busiest times for bookings, with people eager to secure their Bank Holiday or summer pitch space.

    Running the campsite this year should be easier because we have our lovely new house to live in. The new reception area allows a welcome return to selling Ice cream and cold drinks. We just need some sunshine to make that worthwhile. In London today the Metro newspaper announced this will be “Britain’s hottest summer ever” – where have we heard that before? Still, we live in hope and if they forecast the same every year, eventually they will be right. The upbeat prediction comes not from the Met office, but from a small group of forecasters in Abergavenny, so I’m knotting my handkerchief ready!

    The list of jobs to be done before Easter is still worryingly long. Spring is definitely later arriving – by this time last year we had cut the grass twice – this year it has not yet started growing properly. We’ve also suffered quite a lot of frost damage to some of the young grass, with the result that we need to keep some of the re-seeded pitches vacant for a few weeks more. The swings and big slide have both seen major repair surgery and a lick of paint, ready for all the “Easter bunnies” in another week or so. Lambing Live!

    So what’s new at Greenacres in 2010? Our main investment project was completed last week when the plumbers installed a huge new Worcester boiler in the shower block. We also added thermostat-balanced showers, so hopefully there will be balmy and welcoming showers for all from now on. The ageing Vaillant water heaters have done well to last since 1976, but they’re probably out of warranty by now. The replacement promises eco-friendly A-rated efficiency and push-button control showers, so we will improve our “green score” too. Reading back through the customer reviews on UKCampsite, our showers were the one thing some people were “lukewarm” about last year (sorry, couldn’t resist), so this is positive proof that we do listen!

    We’re also planning to build on a successful partnership with our friends at Brown Cow Organics that started almost by chance last summer. Judith and Jason from Brown Cow will be visiting with their mobile stall through the peak summer months as last year, but we are eager to allow off-peak visitors chance to experience the flavour of organic Somerset too. So we will be launching “Arrival Packs” for pre-order, delivered to the camp site ready for your arrival.  Last year so many people turned up at Greenacres with cars stuffed to bursting, kids squashed into tiny spaces between the sleeping bags, camping stove and tins of beans. Instead why not enjoy the luxury of a bit more space in the car and some wonderful locally-produced organic (or Fairtrade) produce can be waiting for you at the end of the journey. More details soon.

    Finally there may be a couple of additions to the Greenacres family this summer. No, Mary isn’t expecting again (heart stopping thought) but we are planning to adopt a couple of orphan lambs from our neighbours at the farm. Inspired by the brilliant Lambing Live program on BBC2, our girls have been helping out bottle-feeding a dozen bleating little balls of wool and, ok I admit, daddy fell soft. In the months ahead “Mint” and “Rosemary” will educate our young ‘uns about the circle of life, but at the moment they’re certainly cute.

    Best wishes


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