Mercia Marina has so much to offer nowadays, with only more to come for its thousands of visitors to make the most of.
With about 500 people living permanently at the idyllic site on boats they are not alone in appreciating it.
Following the introduction of shops, tea rooms, a restaurant and farm shop/coffee house, the marina now attracts more than 800,000 visitors a year.
Then there are the 26 holiday lodges, with another 35 on the way.
And when the site's £3 million Piazza development opens early next year, a further 200 people will be able to call the marina their workplace.
"It's like a village now," general manager Robert Neff tells me as sparrows chirp cheerily outside his office – a sign that former BBC presenter and campaigner David Bellamy was right to describe Mercia Marina as a "wildlife wonderland" in 2011.
"We've got a genuine community here. It's a lovely place to live, work or visit."
The Piazza building is currently under construction.
Once fitted out, it will house a tapas-style Indian café/restaurant, hairdressers, art gallery and three shops – adding to the existing outlets in the £1.7 million Boardwalk, which opened in 2014.
Robert says the new tenants will broaden the marina's offer.
"We try to manage it so people don't compete too much," he says. "We already have a good selection of shops out there. The shops are busy – sometimes people will look to come in and do something similar with a view to taking their business away from them.
"But we don't want people fighting each other. Instead, we want the shops here to complement each other."
The Piazza will scale four storeys, with the upper two floors occupied by Bionical, an expanding pharmaceutical firm which first took space at the marina in 2014.
The firm was crowned Company of the Year at the most recent Derby Telegraph Business Awards, the Burton Mail's sister paper.
"Bionical started out with something like a dozen employees a few years ago," says Robert. Now they have hundreds around the country. This is going to be their global headquarters.
"They wanted a distinctive building in an unusual location, because to get the best staff you need to offer more than money. You need to offer them a nice working environment – something interesting like this."
Robert believes it is "very easy to design something that's ugly" – but very few, if anyone at all, would claim that has happened at Mercia Marina, which is near Willington.
"We've looked to create something distinctive and unusual, but also practical and which fits in with the environment," says Robert.
"For that reason, we very deliberately chose wood as a cladding. We worked with Bi Design, who are an architect company in Repton. They came up with some great ideas and we've come up with some very distinct and interesting buildings."
With 800,000 visitors a year, the work has proved popular. Indeed, Robert says Mercia Marina is on its way to becoming one of the region's top tourism destinations.
"Once The Piazza opens, we should get a million visitors a year," he says. "I'm sure we will get that and not many places attract that many people."
Robert admits it could have been a different story. "[South Derbyshire District Council] were originally not amenable to any of this but over time they've become proud of us.
"The chief planning officer now brings his relatives down to see what we've done here. And the [chief executive] Frank McArdle cites us as one of the main tourism spots of the whole area.
"Now we can achieve things with their help. In the past, we had to fight them because it's development in the countryside."
The fact Mercia Marina has scooped a gold David Bellamy Conservation Award for seven years on the trot shows it has created an environment loved by wildlife – and humans.
ABOUT THE MANAGEMENT:
Mercia Marina is owned by leisure and travel company Madecorn Leisure.
Majority shareholders include former Thorntons chairman John Thornton and his cousin Michael Thornton.
The pair bought the land in the 1980s and for years rented it out to a local farmer. Work to convert the site into a marina was completed in 2008.
Robert is the marina's general manager and is also a minority shareholder of Madecorn Leisure.
"I run it on a day-to-day basis," Robert said. "But John is here a lot. He looks more at the strategy and the numbers. So Madecorn Leisure is the partnership that owns it all, and Mercia Marina is our trading name."
Robert said the partnership has had ambitious plans for the marina since its beginnings. However, the economic downturn of 2008-13 meant a lot of the vision was only being realised now.
"We opened at the same time as the 2008 financial crash," Robert said.
"When we had additional expansion plans, it was very difficult to raise money because banks weren't lending.
"Eventually, the economy started to recover and we managed to find banks who were willing to lend again.
"Certainly, they needed a lot of security but there's a lot of security in here anyway."