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Holiday where the wild things roam

Find the Big 5 of British wildlife with Lovat Parks.

You don’t need to travel thousands of miles to spot amazing wildlife. And you can skip the queues at the zoo, too. Because you can find all kinds of awe-inspiring creatures in the wild right here in the UK – and here at Lovat Parks, we see
lots of them!

What will you spot this summer? Come and join the search.

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Meet our Big 5 ambassador, Megan

You might recognise Megan McCubbin from TV’s Springwatch and Autumnwatch. She’s a zoologist, conservationist and wildlife photographer, and like us, she loves the great outdoors. She’s travelled all over the world making films about endangered animals, and is also an expert on UK wildlife.

Megan loves to share her passion for the UK’s amazing creatures. Which is why she’s challenging you to get out there at Lovat Parks this summer, and spot the Big 5 of British wildlife on and around our parks: grey seals, sharks, puffins, otters and elephants. (Well, elephant moths at least!)

Check out Megan's map for her top tips and tricks to spotting wildlife on your adventures.

Megan's map

What's the Big 5?

Spot the Big 5

There are five amazing animals and wildlife to spot, spread out all over the country. If you’re looking for seals, sharks and puffins, our Cornish parks are the place to be. You can find elephant moths in the New Forest and Norfolk is home to otters. Megan McCubbin has also chosen five animals for each park, too. So there’s loads to look out for. Head out into the wild and see what you can find – you’re guaranteed to come across a lot of fun!

Who’s it for?

The Big 5 is for wildlife lovers of all ages. We want to inspire the next generation of conservationists – and have a lot of fun doing it. So whether you’re just a seal pup or as old as an elephant moth, grab your binoculars and get spotting.

Get involved

It’s easy to get involved. Pick up a Big 5 map from reception at one of our holiday parks and get spotting. We’ve got loads of tips and tricks to give you the best chance of seeing something amazing – and how to look after and preserve our local wildlife's natural habitats. Visit Lovat Parks on Instagram and tag us in all your Big 5 photos using #LovatParksBig5 – we can’t wait to see how you get on!

Please ensure that little Lovats are supervised at all times on their adventures. Medals must not be worn without adult supervision.


Nature provides powerful benefits for mental wellbeing

We've partnered with Psychologist, Andrea Mechelli to highlight that getting out into nature, exploring wildlife and spending time among trees and plants is not just fun – it’s great for our mental health, too. And with the planet’s natural places needing our help, it’s important to inspire the next generation of conservationists to get excited about looking after their natural surroundings.

  • Higher cognitive performance and emotional wellbeing in children who spend more time in green spaces
  • 20% reduced risk of developing depression in those who spend significant amounts of time in natural environments
  • 28% lower likelihood of feeling lonely when in nature
  • A significant reduction in risk of developing depression and generalised anxiety disorder amongst those who spend time in nature
  • 81% improvement in mental wellbeing when in the presence of trees

Research by Andrea Mechelli, Professor of Early Intervention in Mental Health, 2022.

Megan's Big 5

Seals

You can spot seals all over the UK. Keen-eyed conservationists can clock them in our Cornish parks, and we’ve got a massive colony on our doorstep at Waxham Sands. Just grab your binoculars, stroll over the dunes to Horsey Gap Beach and behold – you’re in seal country.

Blue Sharks

We love a dip in the British seas in the summer – and we’re not the only ones. Blue Sharks can be spotted splashing off the south-west of Cornwall between June and October. Get up close and personal with them on the Blue Shark Snorkel Tour, which leaves from Penzance.

Otters

Otters can be found rollicking in rivers and waterways all around Britain - but up in Norfolk and Suffolk, we’ve got special access to them. Earsham Wetland centre is a former otter-breeding centre, where you can often spot them from the riverside. And if you’re heading to the New Forest, pop into the New Forest Otter, Owl and Wildlife Park at Longdown, to catch a glimpse of these playful mammals.

Elephant Hawk-Moths

From May to August, you can find flying elephants in the UK. Okay, they’re not really elephants, but Elephant Hawk-Moths are still well worth spotting. Resplendent in pink and gold, they can be found fluttering around parks and gardens, woodland edges and near sand dunes.

Puffins

In the winter, the UK’s puffins head out to sea. But when summer rolls around, they head back to the North Cornwall coast to breed – and it’s a sight to behold. The best time to see them is between April and late July, onboard one of our Cornish boat trips that leave from Padstow and Rock. These bright beaked comedians will keep you entertained with their antics!

Leaf

Our on-park Big 5 champions

    Big 5 Champion

    Rachel 011

    Rachel says

    "I love seeing photos of the Big 5 animals that guests have spotted and then sharing them on social media to encourage other children and their families to get outside and explore Cornwall’s wildlife!"

    Parbola Holiday Park

    Waxham seal nurse

    Julie 011

    Julie says

    "I love helping the team successfully catch and release a seal it’s very rewarding it makes you feel like you’re giving back to the seals. When we warden in the winter its more about educating the public as the beach is closed off so its easy to manage the seal’s space."

    Waxham Sands Holiday Park

    Big 5 Champion

    Nikki 01

    Nikki says

    "Seeing the excited faces of our guests (young and old) when they have completed the Big 5 to then collect their medals is fantastic."

    Sun Haven Holiday Park

Get involved

What are you waiting for? Collect your Big 5 map from reception, lace up your walking shoes and head off on your Big 5 adventure!

Make sure you share any photos you take using the hashtag #LovatParksBig5 to be in with a chance of winning one of our monthly prizes!

What will you find?

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    Big 5 Champion

    Lottie 011

    Lottie says

    "I really think The Big 5 is brilliant for education, getting outside and future conservation efforts."

    Padstow Holiday Village

    Big 5 Champion

    Carole 011

    Carole says

    "It's lovely to look at the maps with the children and see them using the Binoculars and compass."

    Penmarlam Lodge Retreat

    Big 5 Champion

    Emma 011

    Emma says

    "The Big 5 campaign here at Green Hill Farm has been a great experience to be able to teach families about New Forest wildlife."

    Green Hill Farm Holiday Village

    Big 5 Champion

    Ash 01 01

    Ash says

    "When I first came to Waxham Sands, everyone told me about the seals. I thought, let me grab my Big 5 binoculars and a spare hour and I might be able to see one in the distance. I climbed over the dunes and was greeted with the most incredible sight, hundreds of seals up close on the beach basking in the sun.

    Waxham Sands Holiday Park

    Big 5 Champion

    Sophie 01 01

    Sophie says

    "We’ve been incredibly lucky to spot awe-inspiring wildlife when we have been out and about walking our dog Ted. From summertime bats flying around the park, to seals bobbing about in the waves basking in the evening summer sun and herons on the Camel Estuary."

    Padstow Holiday Village

    Big 5 Champion

    Emma 02 02

    Emma says

    "Cornwall has some amazing wildlife and it is great to be able to share this with the younger generations."

    Sun Haven Holiday Park

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