Springwood Fisheries has two lakes and has been a fishery for many years. In August 2013 it was purchased as a going concern by keen fisherman Jeff Gapper and his partner Linda Beston. When the couple took over the site it had a licence for 13 caravan/tent pitches and was in need of upgrading. Jeff and Linda were keen to improve the site and add additional accommodation. They applied for, and were granted, planning permission for five lodges/camping cabins and to install electric hook up for all pitches, 12 months later the fisheries have 15 pitches with electric hook up, two pods and two cabins, plus on site shower/toilet and café facilities.
The challenge was to install accommodation that was affordable and would offer guests comfortable, practical, warm, self-contained accommodation at any time of year, particularly in the winter months. Fishing is an all year round sport, however, Jeff and Linda could see from historical occupancy figures that camping wasn’t. The right accommodation would increase out of season bookings significantly.
Jeff said "the fishermen will pretty much come out in any weather, we wanted to set ourselves above the competition by offering great, comfortable accommodation too, somewhere to come out of the cold when the fishing is done." The couple required flexible sleeping configurations so the units would appeal to two singles, couples and families.
An internet search lead them to the Camping Cabins website and from there they went to visit the Ilkeston show site. Camping Cabins built two camping pods for Linda and Jeff. Each camping pod was fitted with a shower room and kitchen facilities with space for a double bed and a futon that would convert for sleeping. The couple choose to fit the unit out with stand-alone furniture of their choice to give them the flexibility of space that they needed.
The cabins were delivered and installed on site on the 1st October 2014, Linda added the camping pod details on to their own website and pitchup.com and they had bookings within days. Linda said "we have had customers in tents in the summer who have booked to come back in the winter to stay in the pods, they wouldn’t have come back otherwise."
The camping pods were a direct investment for the business. Linda said "we expect 60-70% occupancy and at £60 per night the pods will pay back in under 12 months."
Springwood Fisheries are committed to offering good facilities and quality on-site accommodation. They are planning to have two more pods in the future. Linda said "with the current camping pods booking so well and repeat and upgrade bookings being taken already we are keen to have two more in the future. We are also planning an additional facilities block, we are delighted with the pods Camping Cabins supplied for us and we will be back."