Bookings lower than expected at Rotherham Council’s new caravan site

Toilet and shower block at WaleswoodToilet and shower block at Waleswood
Toilet and shower block at Waleswood
GULLIVER’S not being open yet and algae at Rother Valley Country Park were blamed for bookings being lower than expected at the council’s new caravan site.

The Waleswood park took more than 4,000 bookings between April and August but RMBC had hoped for more.

Cllr Sarah Allen, cabinet member for cleaner, greener communities, said: “It’s a big number and it’s commendable. But what I would say is that there have been a number of challenges.

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“Notably, the fact that Gulliver’s is not opening until next spring and we have had the blue-green algae at Rother Valley Country Park.

“What we expect is that we’ll have more bookings in a similar period next year. The site has been open for five months and we are pleased to report we are getting lots and lots of positive reviews.”

Cllr Allen added: “Being a glass half full sort of person, I think the fact that we have perhaps not achieved as many bookings as we would have liked means that there are plenty of opportunities to book in an autumn break.”

Keen caravanner Cllr Mick Elliott raised the topic in the council chamber last month, suggesting pitch prices - starting from £25 - might be seen as too high by some potential visitors.

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He said: “I’m a long-standing member of the Caravan and Motorhome Club and I really want Waleswood to be a success.

“It’s a lovely site, constructed to a very high standard.

“However, several fellow caravanners have expressed concern, saying the nightly pitch fees are too expensive.”

Cllr Allen responded: “My understanding is we are competitively priced and that’s what we aim to be.”

Rother Valley’s lakes have been closed since June after potentially toxic algae was discovered. Latest water test results, from mid-August, showed that the levels were still not low enough to reopen.

Theme park Gulliver’s Valley is expected to open next April.