Dinosaur Island play area wins international award

Horsham District Council proposals for Dinosaur Island at Southwater Country Park. Designs by playground designers Eibe SUS-141111-160824001
Horsham District Council proposals for Dinosaur Island at Southwater Country Park. Designs by playground designers Eibe SUS-141111-160824001

Dinosaur Island, in Southwater Country Park, has won an award for Environmental Best Practice.

Horsham District Council’s (HDC) parks and countryside team have won the 2015 International Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice, in recognition of their work developing the adventure play area.

The award was presented to the council’s cabinet member of leisure and culture, Cllr Jonathan Chowen and to parks and countryside development officer Anna Chapman at a ceremony in the Palace of Westminster on Monday November 16.

It recognises the sustainable nature of the new recreation ground and the way it ‘helps others to help the environment’.

The play area now goes forward for further judging, and the possibility of representing the UK in the Brussels-led European Business Awards for the Environment.

A statement from Hdc said: “Since its opening, Dinosaur Island has proved immensely popular with hundreds of children of all ages and abilities. Improved and additional parking at the Southwater Country Park site and a dinosaur themed makeover at the café have also added to the enjoyment of the experience.

“The exhilarating new Dinosaur Island play area features an array of fantastic play equipment and special effects such as an active volcano, red hot lava flows, a tar quagmire, a dinosaur swamp and a prehistoric jungle.

“The park was developed in conjunction with eibe Play Ltd, a leading designer and manufacturer of outdoor playground equipment.”

Commenting on the award win, Cllr Jonathan Chowen said: “I am delighted that the team at Horsham District Councils Parks and Countryside Department has been recognised by this prestigious award and my congratulations go out to all those involved in the planning, development and launch of our fantastic new play area.

“It is an imaginative themed play space that commemorates a past age and it is sure to keep children entertained for many years in the future.

“It is part of our vision and ambition to update Southwater Country Park as an outdoor sports and leisure area for the enjoyment of all our local residents.”

The award judges commented: “The inspiration for the new park came from an Iguanodon dinosaur fossil found locally, which is now a central feature of the Dinosaur Park. The project was rooted in sustainability and fun - aims which were met and exceeded according to both the council and the many delighted park visitors.”

A statement from Eibe Play Ltd said: “Partnering with Horsham District Council has been a rewarding journey.

“It has been uplifting to watch Dinosaur Island come to fruition, a project which absolutely embraces all that is important about the past, present and future of our world. Being able to share the experience of receiving our Green Apple Awards alongside members of Horsham District Council was a real privilege.”

Dinosaur Island was officially opened by the council in July 2015.

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