Maldon-based Osea Leisure Park celebrates 90 years in business this month. Family owned and operated, the park has transformed from a camping facility for visiting pea-pickers in 1933 to the leading, innovative and community-focused business it is today.
Always innovating and at the forefront of tourism and hospitality, the park has continued to move forward with this ethos and has continued to successfully grow its offering since its 80th birthday, including launching the iconic pastel beach huts located on the Blackwater Estuary, quadrupling the number of staff, doubling the size of the Deckhouse bar and restaurant, and successfully building up the meadows, a five star glamping and touring park.
The Osea story began pre-WW2 in 1933, when Mabel Speakman opened the land to pea and fruit pickers for camping and to enjoy spending time with their families. Current Managing Director and Mabel Speakman’s great-granddaughter, Janie Robinson, has been directly responsible for the park’s operation since 2007.
Janie has continued to innovate to grow the business and pushed boundaries to develop an additional 33 acres of the park to offer luxury camping facilities on The Meadows, including the Glass House, the Royal Pod, the Malvern pod, safari tents and Shepard’s huts. Osea Leisure Park has always been part of Janie’s life and she is proud of its heritage and the traditional, community values it was founded upon.
The Park has been owned by four generations of the same family, great grandmother, grandmother, mother and current owner, daughter, Janie, since inception, and now provides holiday home owners with the perfect getaway, a friendly and hospitable ambience, where children can play in safe and secure surroundings.
Never one to rest on her laurels, Janie bought back her Great Grandmothers home in 2015 and transformed it into a leading wedding and events venue, Vaulty Manor, which is owned by Osea Leisure Group and has a five star rating on Hitched. The employees of Osea Leisure Group work across both Osea Leisure Park and Vaulty Manor.
Janie comments: “In the past 10 years, it has been so important for us to continue to innovate and find new ways to provide fun for all of the family. I am so proud of all that we have achieved including being able to employ more staff and expand our business, particularly given the challenges of the past three years due to the pandemic.”
“A lot has changed since 1933, but one thing that has remained constant is the need for families to have a place where they can relax, spend time together and be close to nature. We offer a home from home environment and create the community spirit that has continued to attract holidaymakers year after year to the park. We can’t wait to see what the next 90 years brings for Osea Leisure Park.”
Osea Leisure Park is an award winning Family Park from winning Best Campsite/Caravan Park at David Bellamy Gold awards through to gaining a four Star visit England excellence award.
Today the park is fortunate to have many fourth generations of the same family as clients, including generations of the original pea-picking families. Many have grown up visiting Osea and now bring their families to the park to enjoy time away from the hustle and bustle of modern living.
The ideal location of Osea Leisure Park makes an abundance of outdoor activities possible including sea and fresh water fishing, the use of the beach, swimming, cycling, boating, kayaking and Kayak hire, bird watching and walking, with access to an exclusive menu and bar at The Deckhouse Bar and Restaurant.
Janie and the team have worked hard to build relationships with local businesses and the community outside of the park, including holding regular family fun days and refurbishing the bar and restaurant facilities to attract more outside visitors.
Supporting the local community is a priority for Osea Leisure Park and support includes sponsoring two teams at Maldon Rugby Club, where both of Janie’s children have played.
In addition, Osea Leisure Park offers ownership opportunities of both new and used holiday homes, static caravans and beach huts, as well as Saltmarsh Point – an exclusive development of luxury lodges. Saltmarsh Point has 32 privately owned luxury holiday lodges within an exclusive enclave. A quiet and natural setting rich in wildlife, it is set alongside the beautiful coastline.
An inspirational business women, Janie has had a successful career, including being the youngest female RAC Rally driver competing in the UK and Europe. Janie’s eldest son, Jack Robinson, is following in her footsteps and those of his great uncle from his father’s side as a racing driver, currently racing for Fox Motorsport, a local Maldon team. Jack races in a Ginetta car, who were originally friends of the family and based in Witham.