We’re delighted and proud to be featured in the official “History of Parliament Trust Commonwealth at 70 - From Westminster to the World”. In our profile, CEO Bruce McKendrick discusses Forest Holidays’ 360-degree approach to connecting people, nature, and local communities.
The Commonwealth as we know it today was born with the signing of the London Declaration on 28 April 1949. To mark the 70th anniversary, a beautifully designed hardback book, The Commonwealth at 70, written by academics and experts, brings together key stories of best practice from a variety of places within the Commonwealth’s 53 member states.
“We’re delighted to cover the work of Forest Holidays in this publication,” says co-author and Royal correspondent Robert Jobson. “Sustainability is one of the core topics of the book and top priority for the incoming head of the Commonwealth, HRH Prince of Wales, and Forest Holidays seemed like an obvious choice and a great editorial fit”.
In the book, we detail how our sustainability and ethical credentials tally with those of HRH The Prince of Wales. “We exist to provide unpackaged holiday experiences in Britain’s forests that connect people with nature and local communities,” says CEO Bruce McKendrick. “We’re supporting people’s mental and physical wellbeing, getting them out and breathing the forest-fresh air.”
Over the last 45 years, we have sustainably created a small number of cabin locations in Great Britain which bring lasting benefits to local communities.
Our longstanding partnership with the Forestry Commission was born out of their vision to maintain forests as special places for nature, for people to enjoy, and for businesses to thrive. Today we are one of hundreds of other businesses that support the forest in practical ways and with investment.
Our dedicated Forest Rangers at each of our 10 UK locations deliver outdoor learning experiences for our guests and local schools and groups. They also work closely with other outdoor organisations and partners, to promote outdoor learning and discovery opportunities across the UK, for adults and children.
In addition to this, we play an active role in the rural communities that surround each of our locations, creating year-round jobs for local people and employing 600 team members across the country.
Our guests bring £20 million to local communities every year, boosting the local economy – businesses at our Ardgartan Argyll location that used to close for the winter are now able to stay open all year round.
Through the work we do with The Prince’s Countryside Fund, another organisation close to HRH’s heart, we donate 10p from every hot drink we sell at our locations to support local people with business ideas in rural areas, through a business start-up grant programme. Each year, a grant will be awarded to offer a helping hand to a sustainable business start-up in the countryside.
The Commonwealth at 70 commemorative album was launched in a special event on 25 June 2019. We were honoured to be one of just seven exhibitors at the event, held at Westminster Abbey.
Find out more about the work we do to support Britain’s forests and local communities.