Stover Country Park and Local Nature Reserve has been named among the finalists in the 2020 Devon Tourism Awards.
The Devon County Council owned park, near Newton Abbot, has been shortlisted in the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award category.
The announcement from the Devon Tourism Awards comes after an extended ten-month programme. The competition, which has Quality in Tourism as its headline sponsor, is now in its 11th year. Winners will be announced in March.
Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “It’s a great achievement for Stover to be shortlisted in the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism category of these prestigious awards, and staff and volunteers should be congratulated for their tireless commitment which has made this possible. It’s been an unprecedented year for the tourism industry, but the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic have highlighted how important the country park and nature reserve is for people’s health and wellbeing. Accessibility is a key feature at Stover with wide, level paths and walkways making it possible for everyone to enjoy what the park has to offer.”
Councillor George Gribble, County Councillor for Bovey Tracey Rural, said: “Stover has remained open throughout the various lockdown periods, which is certainly helpful for all in isolation who need and require exercise. When restrictions have been lifted Rangers have continued working with partner organisations such as Countryside Mobility South West and Age UK Devon to ensure Stover has remained accessible to visit. Where possible, volunteers have been able to help maintain the park which has been much appreciated in these recent times.”
Simon Fishwick, Company Secretary of VisitDevon, commented: “It really is amazing how many of our wonderful businesses entered the Devon Tourism awards this year. The past year has been difficult for so many businesses, however to see the high standard of the entries and the innovative approach being shown by many is really heart-warming. Well done to all of the finalists and good luck on the day! For those not listed keep trying – just remember that there has to be a winner and it could be you next time! Overall, the industry is looking well placed for the recovery – plenty of wonderful accommodation, delicious food and drink and a great variety of first class attractions.”
Awards organiser Robin Barker of Services for Tourism added: “The past 10 months have been a challenge for everyone – to survive let alone prosper. We have heard so many stories from entrants – of innovation, adaptation, and reinvention – and of course for many of desperation. Having considered abandoning the Awards for the year I’m so glad we persevered, adapting and changing along the way to reflect the ever-changing situation. The delight we’re witnessing amongst finalists on being told of their success makes it all so worthwhile!”
For more information and a full list of finalists go to www.devontourismawards.org.uk