IT is hoped that a new initiative will further boost south Shropshire as a place for people to come and take a holiday, benefitting tourism that is a big contributor to the economy and job creation.

A major investment at a holiday park near Bishop's Castle is to boost south Shropshire as a visitor destination.

It is anticipated that this will not just benefit Bishop's Castle and the immediate area but bring extra income to other attractions within a short drive.

These include historic Ludlow, Craven Arms and the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre, the Acton Scott Victorian Farm as well as Church Stretton and the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Expansion work has begun at a caravan holiday-home park in the South Shropshire hills in response to growing demand form people who want to spend time in the area.

Twenty-five extra pitches are being created at Bow House Country Park, near Bishop's Castle, which already has 62 caravan holiday homes and 15 luxury lodges.

Fourteen new pitches are being created in the first phase of the expansion.

The park, which is popular with owners who live within two hours' travelling distance of Bishop's Castle, is one of six across Shropshire and Snowdonia owned by Shrewsbury-based Morris Leisure.

Jane Smithurst, who manages the park with her husband, Russ, said three of the new pitches have already been reserved and 15 holiday homes and lodges had been sold in the past 12 months.

The park also offers a ‘Try before you buy’ offer to potential buyers. Customers who decide to buy a holiday home or luxury lodge on the park following a two-night stay have the cost deducted from the price.

“Bow House Country Park is a wonderful place to get away from the stresses and strains of modern living, an idyllic, secluded location for a holiday retreat,” said Edward Goddard, managing director of Morris Leisure.

“We are expanding the park due to the demand for pitches with most of the owners living within a two-hour drive of Bishop's Castle. We have sold 15 holiday homes on the park in the past 12 months.

The ‘Try before you buy’ offer is proving particularly popular with people seeking to escape to rural tranquillity from busy urban life and those with an interest in angling, as the park offers exclusive free fishing for owners on a private four-acre lake that is well stocked with coarse fish.

Set on 33 acres of picturesque parkland with the heather-clad Long Mynd hill as a backdrop, the park has well-spaced pitches for caravan holiday homes and lodges with water, electricity, piped gas and TV connection, well-lit roads, maintained grounds and full site security with electrically operated barriers.

The site managers Russ and Jane Smuthurst live on the park.

Earlier this year people at the site raised £740 for the Alzheimer’s Society, the adopted charity for Morris Leisure and sister company Morris Lubricants this year.

Prices start from around £25,000 for a brand new, two bedroomed, fully serviced caravan holiday home, with different makes and models available to suit personal taste and budget.