As the countdown to this year’s East Lindsey Business Awards continues, this week we take a look at the companies vying for the Visitor Attraction of the Year award.
Making the shortlist are (in alphabetical order): ARK Wildlife Park, in Stickney, Skegness Natureland Seal Sanctuary, and Walled Garden Baumber.
ARK Wildlife Park primarily operates as a rescue sanctuary for exotic animals from the UK and European pet trade.
The business launched in 2016 and last year underwent a number of expansions, including the development of the UK’s first primate island.
A spokesman said: “The whole team at the ARK are thrilled to be finalists, as this is fantastic recognition of everyone’s hard work over the last three years making a rescue zoo for ex-exotic pets become a reality.
“The dedication of the staff and volunteers has been second to none, and without this dedication the ARK would never have been able to help as many animals over these last few years as we have; this nomination is for them and their continued support with the animals and enthusiasm to put smiles on the faces of our visitors.”
Skegness Natureland Seal Sanctuary has been in operation for more than 50 years and is now being managed by the third generation of the Yeadon Family.
While its raison d’être is to treat and return seals to their natural habitat, the business has grown beyond this role over the years and visitors can see a variety of different animals there.
A spokesman said: “It is a privilege to be a finalist in this category with so many other worthy attractions. It just shows what East Lindsey has to offer and that it remains as a fantastic, traditional family holiday destination.
“To be recognised for the work that we do with the rescued seal pups at Natureland makes us all very proud. Not only that, but for providing our visitors with a fun and educational day out too. We have a passion for animals and to be able to share it with the public is just the icing on the cake.”
Walled Garden Baumber is now in its fourth season. Owners Sonia and David Elton spent years renovating the 19th century walled garden for their family, before speculatively opening it up to the public. Since then, it has grown into an up-and-coming attraction.
Alongside the garden, visitors can take advantage of the on-site tearoom (situated in the former potting shed) which offers locally produced, homemade goods.
A spokesman said “We are delighted to think that we have renovated a space that was once a derelict garden, into something that has been shortlisted as a possible Visitor Attraction of the Year.
“To be considered for this award makes all the years of hard work worthwhile. To win this award would be recognition of what has been achieved, by a small dedicated team who have made The Walled Garden Baumber into a thriving small business in Lincolnshire.”
The awards will be held at the Petwood Hotel, in Woodhall Spa, on Friday, September 27. Find tickets at www.lincs-chamber.co.uk
Sponsorship packages are available from www.e-lindsey.gov.uk/ELBASponsorship.
* The Standard is the media partner for the event.