Mother Nature puts stop to weekend opening of new wild play park

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Children playing at the first New Forest wild play area which opened in Holbury

MOTHER Nature has put a stop to the opening of a new wild play park in Sway tomorrow (Saturday).

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A balancing snake, giant wooden tunnel and mini-beast hotel are some of the new activities that were due to be launched with a ribbon-cutting and activities at 2pm in the park at Stanford Rise Green.

But on Friday morning, with bad weather predicted, Sway Parish Council said in the statement the event would have to be rearranged.

It said: “The opening of Stanford Rise Green has been postponed due to the adverse weather forecast. New date will be arranged soon and hopefully we will manage to book the sun.”

The aim of the project is to help families discover and connect with their surroundings for free, provide areas for children to exercise to improve their health and well-being, and encourage them to explore nature.

Three sites are being created across the national park as part of a forest-wide landscape partnership scheme to help enhance and protect the area for future generations.

Holbury and Sway are the first two sites to be completed, with planning underway for the final site at Ashurst and Colbury Recreation Ground on Whartons Lane in Ashurst.

Before the cancellation, national park authority wild play officer Claire Pearce said: “It has been fantastic to work with Sway Parish Council on Stanford Rise Green and create an amazing space for families to connect with their local surroundings.

“It’s important we encourage children to spend more time outdoors, not only to inspire them to care for nature, but to help improve their physical and mental well-being. I hope families will enjoy this space for many years to come.”

Sway parish clerk Katie Walding said: “The parish council is delighted that the project at Stanford Rise Green is now officially completed, in response to the votes of our residents in a village consultation.

“We hope that families young and old will enjoy the green space with its flowers, fruit trees and wild play areas.”

Cllr Melanie Seacombe said: “Sway Parish Council would like to thank members of the Friends of Stanford Rise Green whose help was invaluable in helping to plant the bulbs and orchard trees, as well as providing the muscle to obtain logs for the seating and laying the safety surface around the wild play areas.”

Both adults and children are invited to help guide any future designs for the Ashurst site and can share feedback by visiting www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/ashurst-wild-play-site-development.

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