A flying start for holiday resort

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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 by local carpenter James Archer, whilst Chief Executive Martin Dalby, who is himself a keen amateur carpenter, created his own unique bird box.

Mr Dalby 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.”

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.

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.

Jonathan Kell, regional managing director at ISG, said: “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.”

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.

It will also include outdoor sports and leisure facilities and a lake.