Kent Charity Awards Finale

2015 marked the very first year of the Kent Charity Awards and on Thursday evening Hugh, Andy, Louise and Sherene attended the prestigious event.

The aim of the awards is to showcase the hard work and perseverance that charities and voluntary groups undertake to make the lives of others better. There are currently no similar awards in Kent and these unique awards have already become an important date in the third sector diaries. The Kent Charity Awards will be open to both small and large charities whether a branch of a national charity, a small community based charity or a voluntary group.

Diggerland sponsored the awards and last night presented the Children’s Charity of the Year award to winning charity ChYps, an inspiring charity whose purpose is to enable Children and Young people with life-threatening conditions to receive clinical care and support in their place of choice, which is overwhelmingly in their own home.

Each guest at Thursday evenings awards received one complimentary Diggerland ticket each, which went down extremely well with cheers galore for Diggerland throughout the entire evening.

Hosted by BBC TV presenter Rob Smith, the evening was well received with over 210 guests and was also graced with the presence of Bucks Fizz, local MP Rehman Chishti and the Mayor of Medway.

Diggerland is bringing you new YouTube content!

This year Diggerland has produced some fantastic fun-filled YouTube videos for you to watch. From Digger Wars, to Duggy and Dotty getting married; from the launch of our mobile application to the Ice bucket challenge. It’s all been uploaded for your entertainment.

In the coming months we are going to be producing an extensive collection of videos for you, so stay tuned to our official Diggerland YouTube page to experience the exciting new content.

Want to know what our theme park can offer? Our new videos will enable you to do this! PS don’t forget to like and subscribe to us!

Duggy & Dotty!


Diggerland UK is pleased and proud to be sponsoring this year’s Kent Charity Awards. At Diggerland we understand and appreciate what matters locally to our customers, which is why we always go the extra mile to help various charitable organisations.

The Kent Charity Awards recognise the hard work, expertise and dedication that is the hallmark of outstanding charities across Kent. Know of an outstanding Kent charity? Tell them to enter the Kent Charity Awards.

Diggerland UK is a finalist in the Medway Business Awards

What challenges has the business faced over the last 12 months, and how have you tackled these?

The recession of the last 6 years hit Diggerland badly because family and school budgets were cut. Basic necessities still had to be met, such as food on the table and therefore day trips out to attractions or theme parks were a luxury.

To overcome this, we increased promotional offers and made people even more aware of Diggerland, so our visitor numbers did not drop compared to other competitors.

What does your business do?

Diggerland is an adventure theme park where children and adults can ride, drive and operate real construction machinery.

Visitors can experience the thrills of spinning around fast in a Giant Digger bucket on the Spindizzy ride, operating a Giant JCB 806 Digger, racing around in a Go-Kart, getting lifted 50ft in the air by the Skyshuttle, whirling around on the Dig-a-Round carousel, letting the kids drive a REAL car and so much more!

In addition, Diggerland also boasts an indoor play area, souvenir gift shop and a reasonably-priced restaurant.

Do you import/export, and if so to/from where?

We have recently “exported” the Diggerland Theme Park concept to the USA. Diggerland USA opened in June 2014 and before their launch all of the Diggerland rides and drives were made by our sister company Masterhitch, and then shipped across to the new USA theme park in West Berlin, NJ.

What training and development do your staff receive?

We have rigorous training procedures for all staff dependent upon their job function. Much of the training is health and safety related due to the use of the large machinery used at each theme park. Staff must ensure that customers are kept safe when using the rides and drives.

Diggerland is extremely customer service focused. All staff are given an induction into the history of the business so that they can talk with ease to customers and answer any questions. All staff our trained on how to deal with customers in certain situations and how to remain calm and collected should an incident arise. All staff are encouraged to smile, say hello and engage with customers, wave, high 5 and ensure customers generally enjoy themselves.

Senior staff are trained in First Aid.

Continuous monitoring and assessment takes place to ensure that the high standards of our staff is maintained.

Head Office staff all meet with other departments and other companies within the H.E Group. Head Office staff are sent on courses dependent on their departments needs e.g. management courses, marketing related courses via the Kent Chamber of Commerce.

What impact has such training had on the business?

We have now got a high standard of staff and due to our second to none, outstanding customer service, we receive excellent feedback from our visitors, many of whom return to Diggerland time and time again and recommend us to their friends and family. Diggerland has been awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for 3 years running including 2014.

Do you have an apprenticeship/trainee programme? If so how many apprentices/trainees do you have?

Diggerland is a serious and active employer of 16-24 year olds, helping young people to enter the workplace to gain and develop their skills and experience.

We work with Springfield Education and Training (SET) Ltd, who is an award winning training provider offering training to both those in employment and those who are seeking a career.

In July 2013 we took on a Customer Service Apprentice, who has recently completed her apprenticeship and has been taken on as a full-time permanent member of staff working within our Diggerland Head Office, Customer Service and Bookings Department.

This year in July 2014, the Diggerland Marketing Department at Head Office have taken on a Social & Digital Media Apprentice to assist with all social media and on-line content and strategies to increase on-line engagement and increase visitor numbers.

What does your business do to be environmentally friendly?

We hold annual staff days whereby trees and shrubs are planted at our theme parks to provide a greener environment. This is important not only to heavily improve the landscaping of our sites but to also expand the habitat of wildlife and help species survive.

Our Kent site is an old landfill site and we manage the site carefully. We flare off the methane which helps reduce the damage to the o-zone layer. By burning the methane it produces carbon monoxide which is 100 times less harmful to the ozone of the atmosphere than methane.

In the last 4 years we have been heavily involved in installing solar PV panels on our roofs thus helping to reduce the effects of greenhouse gases by producing environmentally friendly energy.

We also use electric vehicles where possible as we find them environmentally friendly. These vehicles include our mini land-rovers and go-karts.

And anywhere we have to run diesel machines for our diggers, they run on tick over or idle again producing less pollution.

What does your business do to give back to the community?

Corporate Social Responsibility is extremely important to Diggerland. We give back to the community in various ways, such as:

Charitable donations – We give away thousands of tickets to Diggerland per year to charitable causes in order to help with their fundraising events. Recently we teamed up with Kent Messenger and their KM Treasure Chest initiative.

Schools – We give free tickets to school teachers and their families every season so that they may enjoy Diggerland at their leisure as well as to see the educational benefits of bringing classes for a visit, however this is not compulsory. In addition we provide schools with free tickets to assist with their fundraising for new equipment etc.

We give heavy discounts such as 50% off or enter the park for £5.00 at various times  throughout the season and promote these offers via local press, social media, online websites and via our database. This means that customers from all levels of the financial spectrum can enjoy a day out at Diggerland.

This year Diggerland are sponsoring the Kent Charity Awards 2014, which recognizes the hard work and perseverance that charities and voluntary groups undertake to make the lives of others better.

How do you promote your business?

We promote our business locally and nationally via numerous and various mediums of online and offline advertising.


  • Social Media Engagement
  • Competitions and special offers on industry related websites
  • Paid for advertising on industry related websites
  • Text message advertising with promotional offers
  • Newsletter bulletins via email
  • Diggerland Mobile App for park information
  • Diggerland Game App for kids – goes live in February 2015 (working with North West Kent  College students)
  • New Diggerland website launching February 2015


  • Local and national newspaper advertising
  • Radio campaigns
  • Adverts in various publications locally and nationally
  • Free press visits in return for reviews
  • Use of leaflet distribution companies
  • Partnerships/schemes with other companies to display our leaflets / provide discounts to customers or staff.
  • Attending exhibitions, outdoor events and shows with our diggers and promotional materials.
  • Diggerland merchandise and promotional items
  • Departure packs for the kids to take away after their visit
  • Teachers Go Free Campaign
  • Celebrities Go Free campaign
  • Press days
  • Outdoor signage (motorway advertising)

Who are your local / national competition?

Our competition can be any other thing to do in the sun that either costs or doesn’t cost money.

We are a weather dependent attraction, as we are an outdoor attraction, we rely on good weather to bring the most amount of visitors.

We would compare ourselves mostly with Chessington World of Adventures, Legoland, Thorpe Park or Alton Towers.

However any attraction that appeals to a family audience with children between 5-15 years is a competitor such as Dickens World, Hop Farm, Kent Life, Historic Dockyard, Leeds Castle, Howletts & Port Lympne Zoo.

How are you different / better than your competition?

We are a unique attraction and we are the only attraction of its kind in the UK and globally. We are extremely well received and the attraction sells itself which is why we have done so well over the past 14 years and been able to open a further 3 sites across the UK and branch out in to America.

Our customer service is outstanding and second to none, we value our customers and do our utmost to ensure they have an exciting and fun-filled experience, which is what makes us stand out from the rest

Have you any unusual or well-known customers?

We have had lots of celebrities visit Diggerland over the years, including the Beckham children, Chris Evans, Davina McCall, The Castleford Tigers, Boxer Barry McGuigan, The DIY SOS team, British actress Roxanne Pallett, and more recently Olympic Gold Medalist James Cracknell & British Motorcycle Road Racer Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne!

What is your greatest achievement to date?

From the initial conception, we were told Diggerland would never work and that it was impossible to let children drive Diggers. We worked day and night to make it work, meeting with various organisations, governmental bodies and Health & Safety specialists to make the dream happen.

We are pleased, proud and honoured to say that after 14 years a local Medway grown attraction has increased visitor numbers year on year and has now expanded to have 3 other UK theme parks and now has expanded stateside!

What are your ambitions for the business for the next 5 years?

To carry on expanding the Diggerland brand and promote the overall Diggerland adventure theme park experience. To open another Diggerland theme park in Europe.

Diggerland is in the Medway Business Awards final!

Marketing Manager, Sherene Garvin-Mack said “It’s absolutely fantastic that we have reached the final 12! To be recognised for our hard-work, perseverance and for all the good that we do in the community is just a dream come true for the company. We can’t wait to hear the results at the Gala Evening on 21st November 2014. It would be brilliant if Diggerland won!”

Diggerland supports KM Treasure Chest

Diggerland adventure park is supporting the KM Treasure Chest fundraising scheme for charities in Kent.

Sherene Garvin-Mack and Andy Ballantyne of Diggerland join Wowzer the KM Walk to School mascot to celebrate the attraction supporting KM Treasure Chest. Watched by Duggy and Dotty the Diggerland mascots.

The Strood based attraction, which gives kids and grown-ups the chance to ride and drive real full size construction machinery, has teamed up with the KM Charity Team on its popular fundraising initiative.

Treasure Chest supplies raffle and auction prizes to PTAs, charities and voluntary groups.

Diggerland UK’s marketing manager Sherene Garvin-Mack said:

“We are delighted to be in partnership with the KM Charity Team. There are so many charities and good causes that all work exceptionally hard to benefit the community. We will be donating a number of family theme park tickets throughout the year.”

Simon Dolby of the KM Charity Team said:

“It’s wonderful that Diggerland are so committed to helping good causes in Kent. Treasure Chest helps charities to generate much needed funds to continue their fantastic work.”

Charities interested in applying for a prize from Treasure Chest can visit and fill in the online application form.

EVision – Driving the Future

A unique new player is entering the UK Car Hire and Chauffeur Service market this week as EVision Supercars launches its exclusive Tesla Model S fleet into the UK.

The Tesla Model S is Tesla’s first luxury supercar to enter the UK market, with the comfortable interior and advanced dashboard technology of a luxury Mercedes, combined with the acceleration and top speed of a Porsche or Ferrari, doing 0-60 MPH in only 4.2 seconds, but in a vehicle with no tailpipe and zero emissions.

EVision Supercars are the UK’s firsts in offering the Tesla Model S for hire on both short and long-term self-drive hires and a chauffeured service to individuals and businesses. Clients can collect their Tesla Model S from the EVision depot, conveniently located in the Rochester area/ less than an hour from Central London, or have their vehicle delivered direct.

For those with a finer taste, EVision Supercars also offer bespoke executive chauffeur packages including airport transfer services in London and the South-East. EVision Supercars are dedicated to offering their clients the experience of a luxury Mercedes or Rolls but without the guilt of polluting the planet.

Hugh Edeleanu, Chairman of EVision Supercars’ parent company, H.E. Group Ltd. commented: “People are increasingly looking to hire premium cars for both business and leisure and we’re excited to be the UK’s first to offer the Tesla Model S in both the rental and chauffeur markets. Whether for business or pleasure, a city break, long weekend or a longer period, it’s the perfect choice for those looking for a luxury supercar experience that won’t cost the earth!”

The Tesla Model S is one of the most advanced supercars now entering the UK market, described as “truly mind-blowing” by Richard Hammond, it has full internet access from its 17in touchscreen display and comes with a complementary app for Android and iOS, which can help you find the car in a busy car park by making it honk its horn, flash its lights or even, on a hot day, start cooling the car while you’re still finishing your dinner.

It’s free to charge at most UK public charging stations, and all vehicles are supplied with a free tank of “fuel”, charged by solar panels at the EVision depot.

EVision Supercars are giving both individuals and businesses the ability to have the ultimate luxury supercar experience, but with zero emissions and no running costs. For more information please visit or call the EVision team on 0208 775 7919 (London) or 01634 914 063 (Kent).

Diggerland Awarded TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2014

Diggerland UK Theme Parks have received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence 2014 Award for each of their Diggerland sites, located at Devon, Durham, Kent and Yorkshire.

The award, which honours customer service excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the TripAdvisor® website.

When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account reviews ratings.  Only the top 10% of businesses receive the award and must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, volume and recency of reviews. Additional criteria include a business’ tenure and popularity ranking on the site.

“Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for all four of our Diggerland theme parks is a true source of pride for the entire team at Diggerland. We would like to thank all of our past visitors and guests who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor. The award is based solely on our customer’s reviews of the Diggerland parks. There is no greater seal of approval than being recognised by our customers. Winning this award gives us an increased amount of confidence to our business. Our aim is to continue this level of customer satisfaction in order to win the award again for 2015.”

Said Sherene Garvin-Mack, Marketing Manager of Diggerland UK.

Diggerland USA Opens

A theme park opening next month in New Jersey will let kids, and adults, move some earth with REAL excavating equipment.

The owners of Diggerland USA outside Philadelphia say it’s the first theme park of its kind in the US, though many of its plans are based on four similar parks in the United Kingdom. Unlike a more intense heavy equipment playground in Las Vegas called Dig This, Diggerland caters to both kids and adults.

Visitors who are at least 4 feet tall can take a turn driving a backhoe around a course with the help of a staff member or they can dig in sand piles with a sevon-tonne excavator. Besides letting customers dig, the park also has the Spindizzy, a ride where passengers can spin at high speed strapped to the bucket of a specially designed earth-mover or go more slowly in the Dig-a-Round, a digger-themed carousel.

The machines are the real thing, not miniatures or replicas. But they are modified to limit their functionality and danger. The machines used for digging are not to be driven. Those that can be driven have safeguards so they won’t go too fast. And park employees can remotely shut down the machines.

The New Jersey park is owned by Ilya Girlya and his family, who also run a nearby water park. The new Diggerland theme park is set to open June 14, and full-day tickets are $35. Other attractions include standard carnival games re-imagined, including a duck pond and a bowling game using a small excavator.

Press Visits This June 2014!

Calling all Journalists, Editors, Reporters, and Leisure & Tourism Bodies!

We invite you to visit a Diggerland UK theme park of your choice this June 2014.

Two free tickets will be given away to each J.E.R.L and tickets may be used for any weekend during the month of June 2014.

All you have to do is email with the subject heading – “Two Press Tickets Please” along with your name, newspaper title, phone number and email address in the main body. Requests must be sent in by no later than 5pm on Friday 23rd May 2014.

Please tell us which park you would like to visit.

Terms & Conditions – Extra tickets may be provided to other newspaper or leisure & tourism workers, however applications will be assessed and based on a first come first serve basis. This offer is not to be used in conjunction with any other offer, discount, voucher, experience, group or school booking. Offer is valid at UK Diggerland theme parks only, including Devon, Durham, Kent and Yorkshire. Applications must be made via email to no later than Friday 23rd May 2014. Voucher is valid for the following weekends only: 7-8 June, 14-15 June, 21-22 June, 28-29 June 2014.

Diggerland USA Announces Opening Date!

North America’s first-ever construction-themed adventure park will open its doors to the public, Saturday, June 14, 2014. Diggerland USA covers 14 acres of centrally-located land in Camden County, NJ and offers visitors the opportunity to operate heavy machinery in a safe, family-friendly environment.

Once the Diggerland USA gates open at 10:00 AM on Saturday, visitors will have access to 23 on-site attractions, most of which are comprised of modified JCB heavy construction equipment. The rides have been engineered to allow parents and children to safely dig, drive and ride familiar, real-sized construction equipment.

The decision to build the unique park was made by the owners and senior management of the neighboring indoor and outdoor water park, Sahara Sam’s Oasis, who leveraged the blueprint set forth by the four Diggerland parks in the United Kingdom.

“The opportunity to take the concept of a construction theme park and make it our own was very exciting for us,” said Ilya Girlya, CEO of Sahara Sam’s and Diggerland USA.

The Girlya family owns and operates SAMBE General Contracting which is overseeing the construction of Diggerland USA.

“My family has a very personal connection to the project, just as we did with Sahara Sam’s five years ago,” Girlya said. “Construction has been in my family for many years so it was a natural fit for us to build a construction theme park.”

Plans for Diggerland USA were officially unveiled just a few months ago in January and since, the park has seen significant progress, particularly this month. Local residents driving down Cooper Road can now see the black-and-yellow Diggerland USA sign with attractions and indoor facilities spanning the landscape behind it.

More notably, however, were the ride equipment deliveries received over the past two weeks that ensure the final touches to the park are completed in time for the grand opening in 40 days.

“Six months ago we returned from the United Kingdom and concurred that this was a project that would be a huge success,” said Chris Peters, Director of PR and Marketing. “The pace at which this park has come together is unheard of. It’s been a remarkable experience working with this team, our partners in the UK, and a 5-star global equipment manufacturer like JCB.”

A preview day for members of the media will take place Thursday, May 22. Press interested in attending the event should contact the Public Relations department for details via email or by visiting the Diggerland Newsroom.