11 January 2022

Rufford Abbey Country Park, operated by Parkwood Leisure, has achieved an 82% customer experience quality score for 2021 after an audit by the Visit England Quality Scheme.

The audit, which is ordered by Nottinghamshire County Council every two years, is determined by a number of factors including how the park is maintained, the catering standards, retail offerings and event success.

A pass mark is set at 60% by Visit England with Rufford never achieving below a 70% score since the audits began in 2014; the score has not dipped below 80% since 2016, highlighting the park’s improvement year on year. 

From the last assessment in 2018, pre-arrival and attraction grades remained the same. Retail scores increased and so too did the catering department where the range and quality of food exceeded expectations.

With an overall score of 88% in the catering section, RACP met the requirements to be nominated for a VisitEngland ‘Quality Food and Drink’ accolade with the results due in Autumn 2022. 

Special praise was also given to the maintenance staff as, being one of the only places to have remained open during the first stages of the pandemic, and throughout the third UK lockdown in early 2021, the grounds and buildings were kept immaculately. 

Glen Hall, Managing Director of Parkwood Leisure has said:

“I am delighted that Rufford Abbey Country Park has been given such an excellent score by Visit England in recognition of the brilliant job the team has done during the pandemic. The park proved to be an escape for people to socialise during the heights of the lockdowns and our teams managed to maintain incredibly high standards under challenging circumstances.”

Visit England’s assessor concluded in the report:

“The grounds and gardens remained of a high standard throughout the lockdown and the appearance of buildings were excellent; when lit up at night, they look even better. 

 The catering team provided exemplary customer service throughout, always providing a warm and friendly welcome, being apologetic about delays, going the extra mile to help visitors and working well together to provide an efficient and seamless service.”