1. ITV Report

Center Parcs fined for safety failings after Woburn tree-climber fall

The Center Parcs site in Woburn Forest. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Holiday company Center Parcs has been fined £250,000 for failing to ensure the safety of tree-climbers at its Woburn Forest site in Bedfordshire.

It follows an incident in 2015 where a young girl fell between eight and ten feet from a tree and broke her wrist during an organised activity.

A court heard the 8-year-old had been unsupervised when she climbed up a rope ladder.

The company said it was determined to learn from what had happened.

Central Bedfordshire Council prosecuted Center Parcs for failings under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The firm pleaded guilty and have been fined £250,000 with additional costs of £14,000.

Center Parcs's site in Bedfordshire. Credit: ITV News Anglia

“Our investigations found inadequate risk assessments in place, an unsafe system of work, and inadequate monitoring to ensure that the tree climbing activity was safe.

“This prosecution sends a message to businesses that there are serious consequences if health and safety laws are breached, and members of the public placed at risk.”

– Cllr Ian Dalgarno, Central Bedfordshire Council

“We would like to take this opportunity to apologise to the family involved for the distress this incident has caused.

“We take the health, safety and well-being of our guests extremely seriously, and from the outset have co-operated fully and pro-actively with the investigation undertaken by Central Bedfordshire Council. As a result of this incident we immediately reviewed and amended our operating procedures in relation to the tree-climbing activity, and have continued to provide support to the family involved.

“Center Parcs welcomes over 2.2 million guests each year to its five Uk villages and we are proud of our excellent health and safety record over the last 30 years. We will continue to adhere to stringent health and safety policies and procedures in order to ensure our guests enjoy a safe short break with us.”

– Center Parcs spokesman