ACCEO is the Association of Caravan and Camping Exempted Organisations. We represent Caravan and Camping Clubs that hold a Certificate of Exemption issued by one of three authorities – Natural England which is an executive public body sponsored by DEFRA (The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Activities), or The Welsh Assembly Government (Planning Division), or The Scottish Government (Housing Markets Supply Division).
What is ACCEO?
The Association of Caravan and Camping Exempted Organisations is a group of rallying clubs, all of whom hold Certificates of Exemption. A Committee of unpaid officers is elected from Association Members to represent the combined interests of our Member Clubs at all levels.
What does the Association Do?
ACCEO works closely with Government Departments and Authorities on behalf of its Member Clubs.
ACCEO is also able to provide both services and access to facilities not directly available to individual clubs. The category of Personal Membership has been introduced to provide an additional voice to the membership of Member Clubs and greater flexibility in arranging invitations and joint rallies. Personal Membership also provides a voice to individuals whose club has disbanded, but who wish to maintain an interest in the work of ACCEO.
Rallies in National Parks
Rallies in National Parks cannot be held without first being approved by the appropriate National Park Officer. Approval must be obtained some one year in advance through a “clearing” procedure, which is not directly accessible to individual clubs.
ACCEO is represented on the national clearing house and liaises with all National Parks (Natural England) to coordinate an approved rally programme with the relevant authorities. Our National Parks Rally Officer can help you with enquiries but note that at least 12 months’ notice is needed for applications.
Whilst individual clubs may, by means of their “Paragraph 6” Certificate of Exemption, organise rallies of up to five days duration (5 consecutive periods of 24 hours) the major caravanning organisations e.g. The Caravan Club, The Camping & Caravanning Club, The Motor Caravan Club and ACCEO were also granted “Paragraph 4” Certificates, thereby permitting rallies to be organised on unlicensed land for an indefinite period, although an agreement was reached with the appropriate Government Departments whereby such rallies would be limited to a maximum of 28 days.
By agreement with the Association, and subject to reasonable controls, ACCEO Member Clubs holding “Paragraph 6” status are eligible to apply to organise extended rallies under the discipline of ACCEO’s “Paragraph 4” Certificate of Exemption. Contact the Extended Rally Officer.
Government Environmental Departments are now prepared to consider “Paragraph 4” applications from organisations that hold a valid “Paragraph 6” Certificate, subject to certain undertakings and conditions.
Advice to Clubs
ACCEO is able to give advice on matters of vital importance to clubs and issues a series of information sheets on specific subjects.
Guidance and assistance is offered to Member Clubs when difficulties arise that may threaten their privilege to hold a Certificate of Exemption.
The Association organises a National and AGM Rally at the beginning of October each year. Rally arrangements are made by a volunteer ‘host’ club in conjunction with Officers of the Association. Personal Members of the Association as well as members of the Association’s Member Clubs are able to meet like-minded caravanners and enjoy the organized entertainment
Additionally, Member Clubs are encouraged to run Invitation Rallies where the Association makes arrangements that permit the attendance of other interested Member Clubs – see the News page for forthcoming rallies of this type.
A range of ‘specially designed’ insurance schemes is offered to Member Clubs and their members. Most Member Clubs are affiliated to the ACCEO Public Liability Policy for a very reasonable annual premium. For further information please contact our Insurance Officer.
After the Second World War, caravanning as a leisure pursuit was perceived by the government of the time to be growing rapidly and uncontrolled. This perception resulted in the “Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960” which is still operating over 50 years on, and is the means by which your club was granted an Exemption Certificate which permits you to hold rallies on unlicensed land.
In 1976 the government called a meeting at Beaulieu to ascertain how the Act was working. Arising from these discussions the then Department of the Environment (latterly DEFRA and now Natural England) issued in 1978, a Consultative Document which was to introduce a degree of control over caravan rallies to prevent overuse of popular sites and in particular the National Parks. The tone of this document caused some alarm amongst caravanners who, perceiving a possible threat to their pastime, determined that clubs must group together to provide a single voice and thus be in a stronger position to safeguard their interests.
Two groups formed in 1979, the National Federation of Caravan Owners Clubs (NFCOC), which as its name suggests was composed mainly of Owners Clubs, and shortly afterwards came the Confederation of Caravan and Camping Clubs (4C’s) comprising of other Social and Works Clubs. Later there was an attempt to enlarge the group by including the Caravan Club and the Camping and Caravanning Club, but the initiative failed.
Both groups continued to operate in parallel, each operating their own “clearing houses” for rallies in the National Parks. This duplication was expensive in time, effort and money, and eventually led in 1985 to a merger to form the Association of Caravan and Camping Exempted Organisations (ACCEO). The Department of the Environment was enthusiastic about the creation of ACCEO and granted the Association an Exemption Certificate limited to 5 day rallies initially, and some four years later, when the Association altered its constitution to become a Recreational Trust, rallies of up to 28 days could be arranged as controlled by the1960 Act.
Application for ACCEO Membership, be it Corporate, for a Club, or Personal can be made to the Membership Officer.