Popular Hartlepool visitor attraction strikes gold

A popular visitor attraction has struck gold again.

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Staff, volunteers and visitors are celebrating at RSPB Saltholme, the nature reserve on the outskirts of Hartlepool, after receiving the prestigious gold accolade from VisitEngland for the second time.

Attractions across England are awarded VisitEngland accolades in appreciation of the outstanding experiences they provide, with other categories including storytelling, food and drink, hidden gem status and an overall gold award.

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They achieve these awards based on the score they obtain following their annual assessment by VisitEngland, with RSPB Saltholme’s gold accolade a result of its 93% overall score.

Staff at RSPB Saltholme after receiving their gold award.Staff at RSPB Saltholme after receiving their gold award.
Staff at RSPB Saltholme after receiving their gold award.

Chris Francis, who is site manager at RSPB Saltholme, which is in Seaton Carew Road, said: “This is fantastic news for the reserve and we’re sure that our visitors will be as thrilled as we are.

“To achieve a gtold accolade is such an honour, but receiving it for a second time is a privilege.

"This award reflects the ongoing hard work by everyone here at RSPB Saltholme to deliver an outstanding visitor experience for the many families and individuals who enjoy our wonderful reserve each year.

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“A huge thank you goes to our staff and volunteers for working so hard to deliver the highest level of visitor experience at RSPB Saltholme. To receive this award in 2021 during the Covid 19 pandemic demonstrates how hard the team have worked to overcome challenges and ensure visitors are still able to enjoy everything the reserve has to offer.”

VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: “I’m so pleased to see our visitor attractions back in the spotlight with these accolades that recognise the amazing experiences available across the country.

“They also acknowledge the people who bring the attractions to life through their unparalleled customer service.

Introduced by VisitEngland in 2014, the Visitor Attraction Accolades are available to members of the Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme who represent a wide range of tourism experiences across England.

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They are supported by a network of highly trained and experienced assessors who advise on improving and promoting the quality, accessibility and sustainability of their offer.

For further information on the special events and wildlife at RSPB Saltholme, visit rspb.org.uk/saltholme

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