Shona Ramshall has made numerous visits to Center Parcs over the years however, on a return visit earlier this year a special surprise was waiting for her at Sherwood Forest. When we heard Shona’s story we loved it that much, we just had to share it.
A loyal guest
Shona has been a guest of Center Parcs for the past 18 years and has travelled far and wide, in summer and winter, to visit our Center Parcs Villages. Whether Shona is visiting with family or friends, what excites Shona the most about her breaks is the wildlife she sees. “Center Parcs is my haven”, says Shona. She enjoys her time at Center Parcs that much that last year, in the space of six months, she visited Center Parcs Sherwood Forest three times.
A day in the life of…
During a break at Sherwood Forest earlier this year, she came into contact with Annemarie Boddy, the assistant manager at Leisure Bowl. Shona told us that after chatting to Annemarie and getting to know one another, the two exchanged emails and kept in touch. Shona’s next break at Sherwood Forest was to be in May 2016 and, unbeknown to Shona, Annemarie had a special surprise in store for Shona’s next Center Parcs break.
“The customer service at Sherwood is phenomenal and Annemarie is a perfect example” Shona says.
So what was Shona’s surprise, I hear you ask! Annemarie, with the help of our Sherwood Forest Conservation Ranger Kev Gustard, organised a special day for Shona that any wildlife enthusiast would love. Shona was given the opportunity to experience a day in the life of our rangers. She spent her day helping Kev and other rangers with the tagging of baby birds, which is an important part of wildlife conservation and for Shona, who is an avid birdwatcher, this was the perfect day out.
The tagging of birds at Center Parcs allows ours rangers to monitor the birds and collect information which helps with their conservation work. A small, light-weight band is carefully placed around the birds leg which helps our rangers identify each bird.
Last summer when we were invited to join Kev with the tagging of baby birds, he reassured us that the belief that touching baby birds can cause the mother to abandon her chicks due to human scent is incorrect. He went on to explain that we do leave some human scent but the birds sense of smell is underdeveloped compared to ours and it does not affect the parent’s behaviour towards the chicks once they return.
Part of Shona’s day involved spending one-to-one time with our rangers, ringing barn owls and baby treecreepers, which Shona described as “amazing”. Later, along with the help of little ones who were visiting the Nature Centre, Shona helped Kev with the tagging of another bird species, the great tits.
Shona told us: “I love visiting the Nature Centre and bird hide at Sherwood Forest; the staff are so knowledgeable and the Nature Centre is a fantastic place letting little ones get involved with nature.”
Talking of her exciting surprise, Shona said that she felt like a “princess for the day” and that she was very grateful for the opportunity that was given to her, saying that “all involved went above and beyond what they needed to do”.
“This was my favourite day in the past 18 years of visiting Center Parcs” Shona said.
As a returning guest of Center Parcs, Shona enjoys being surrounded by spectacular wildlife whilst spending time relaxing with her friends and family. She says: “From booking to all the way through your break, it’s just fantastic.” Shona also added “you can tell that it’s not just a job for the staff.”
As a loyal guest of Center Parcs, and with a few new friends to say hello to on her return, Shona already has her next break at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest booked!