Recognition for local farmer now wearing many hats ….Wootton Park has been chosen as a Finalist in the Rural Business Awards 2018 for ‘Best Rural Recreational or Outdoor Pursuits Business’ and the Award Ceremony will take place on 11th October.

From the dairy farming days of over 20 years ago, Wootton Park has transformed and owner Ian Roy McCall and his family now run successful businesses across glamping and Farmhouse B&B accommodation, weddings, wakeboarding, horse riding and business park, as well as wakeboarding with Spot on Wake and horse riding through Equine Learning CIC.

This Award Nomination from Rural Business Awards is recognition for:

  • The new ground breaking and purpose-built Cable Wakepark Spot On Wake, where people can take lessons to learn wakeboarding from the age of 8 and try our inflatable Aquapark, Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Open Water Swimming
  • Horse riding / trekking through the countryside with Equine Learning CIC, which specialises in working with young people with autism, and is also an inclusive equestrian centre where activities are open to all
  • The unique glamping experiences - 8 Pods, some with hot tubs, including 2 new TreePods with hot tubs, pizza oven, fire pit, stunning countryside views and varied wildlife including birds of prey and deer


Owner Ian Roy McCall, delighted for the team at Wootton Park to be nominated for this award said:

"In 1945 my grandfather, Henry McCall, bought this 260 acre farm with income from running his machine tools business in Birmingham. At the age of 24, I took over the management of the farm and took up dairy farming by buying 50 Friesian cows. The herd grew to 215 and extra land was purchased to increase the farm size to the present 350 acres. This provided an income for a growing family with 3 sons but as none of them wanted to pursue a career in farming, a decision was taken to sell the herd in 1995.

The cow sheds, the dairy and milking parlour were converted to offices to rent out to businesses. We created a mini Business Park. We also planted 45 acres of trees to improve the wild life and appearance of the farm. One son, Mark, started a very successful wedding and event business and a second son, Pete, has recently dug out 4 lakes and opened a purpose-built Wakeboard Park covering 8 acres. There’s nothing like this for miles around!

My wife and I converted rooms in the Farmhouse to accommodate wedding guests and created Pod Park adding 8 glamping pods, 2 of which are set 11 feet up in the trees with hot tubs on the decks. We believe this set up to be the first in the UK! We also offer horse riding through Equine Learning CIC along the many tracks over the farm where you may see a hare, pheasant, fox or deer pop out from a wheat field! It’s very satisfying to be able to bring people back to nature where they can enjoy peace, relaxation and sports in a rural setting."


A bit about the Rural Business Awards:

The Rural Business Awards were established in late 2014 by Jemma Clifford and Anna Price – two business owners who work in rural Leicestershire. The first Awards were presented in October 2015 and the RBAs are now entering their 4th year.

The Rural Business Awards (RBAs) works with partner organisations large and small, the CLA have been involved since year one and this support was bolstered by Amazon in 2017. Amazon are our headline partners for 2018. Amongst other organisations to lend their support to the RBAs are BT Openreach, Prysm Group via Farm Business Innovation, HSBC, DEFRA as well as many niche rural organisations and charities.

The aim of the awards has not changed over the years and we aim to give recognition to businesses operating right across the Rural sector, to acknowledge the breadth and depth of opportunity by the Great British countryside, as well as to celebrate the achievements of our rural businesses, from engineering through to artisan food producers and professional services organisations.

The thirteen award categories are decided by an independent panel of judges drawn from the rural business sector, official agencies and rural charitable organisations. The aim is to grow The Rural Business Awards to become the UK’s most prestigious and respected awards for rural businesses and to develop a strong network and community of rural business owners.

RBA Objectives

  • To become the UK’s premier awards programme for rural businesses
  • To acknowledge and celebrate the vital contributions made by companies to the development and success of the Rural sector and rural way of life
  • To encourage entrepreneurial spirit in the Rural sector, and to give recognition to excellence in business set-up, operation and management
  • To reward businesses who value their rural roots – who contribute to increased employment, better infrastructure and the training of young people to address the drain of people migrating from rural regions to cities.
  • To raise awareness nationally of the impact that rural businesses have on the UK economy, communities and people.
  • To contribute to the debate around the need to ensure rural locations are adequately ‘connected’ so that they are not disadvantaged by location – be that by broadband, transport, support services etc. which ensure rural communities can not only survive but can thrive.
  • To bring rural businesses together to share their challenges, triumphs, best practices, innovations and ideas, to peer mentor each other and grow a rural business community        

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