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Family praised for putting region on map

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By Fiona Reid
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Family praised for putting region on map

A FAMILY who helped pioneer camping and caravan holidays in Dumfries and Galloway have been given a special “thank you” by their trade association.

Auchenlarie Holiday Park in Gatehouse of Fleet has received a prestigious gold award from the British Holiday & Home Parks Association (BH&HPA) for its enterprise and loyalty.

Park owners Marshall and Helen Swalwell bought Auchenlarie in 1986, attracted by its picture-perfect location overlooked by the Galloway Hills, and its access to a secluded beach. Since then, they have invested much time and effort into creating an idyllic holiday destination for families visiting Southern Scotland.

Their reward has been to see guest numbers rise every year and a raft of awards, including a top five-star rating from VisitScotland and the maximum five pennants from the AA.

The Swalwells are today assisted in the running of the business by their sons Paul, Neil and Bob. Paul said: “Our family is immensely proud to be able to live and work in this glorious area, and from the outset we have always tried to run Auchenlarie on sustainable lines. There’s an abundance of animal and bird life here, and over the years we have planted many native trees and shrubs to provide additional habitats and feeding resources. We are also in the process of replacing the park’s five-strong housekeeping fleet with electric vehicles which are both quieter and non-polluting, and more vehicles will follow.”

They first joined BH&HPA 25 years ago and Paul said they have worked closely with the organisation, adding: “We appreciate the help it gives to smaller businesses like ours, so it’s great to have them saying thanks to us in this way.”

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