Thanks to a thoughtful holiday park owner, voters in a rural constituency near Blackpool can now make their crosses in comfort. Michael Ward, owner of Merlewood Country Park, near the village of Little Eccleston, volunteered his park’s reception building as an official polling station earlier this year.

As a result, grateful voters in July’s general election no longer had to use a mobile voting booth sited near a busy main road, which had previously given rise to safety fears. Instead, they were able to draw up in Merlewood’s large car park, well away from speeding traffic, and register their votes in much more convenient and quieter surroundings.

The park will continue to provide the facility in the future, both for general elections in the Fylde constituency and for local council elections.

There has been an unexpected upside, since the facility has allowed many more people than before – including parliamentary candidates and other officials – to get a first-time glimpse of Merlewood, as Michael explained, ‘We’ve had many positive comments from both politicians and the public, many saying they didn’t know such a superb park existed on their doorstep!’

Part of Merlewood’s appeal to holiday home owners is that it’s hidden away deep in tranquil countryside, so it’s not surprising that many local residents were unaware of it.

Michael continued, ‘The real value to us is being able to showcase Merlewood to politicians and councillors, and to broaden their understanding of the nature of the parks sector.’