New ‘Dinosaur Island’ play area for Southwater Country Park

JPCT 050613 Scenic pic, Southwater Country Park. Photo by Derek Martin ENGPPP00320130506171302
JPCT 050613 Scenic pic, Southwater Country Park. Photo by Derek Martin ENGPPP00320130506171302

Plans are underway for a new ‘Dinosaur Island’ play area as part of a ‘substantial investment’ for Southwater Country Park.

Over the coming months officials at Horsham District Council (HDC) will focus on enhancing leisure in the village.

The country park is one of the most popular destinations in the Horsham district but ‘it does need some money spent on it to update it’, said Jonathan Chowen, cabinet member for arts, heritage and leisure at HDC.

Part of this includes a dinosaur themed play area complete with a prehistoric swamp landscape, dinosaur bones and hunts.

Mr Chowen told the County Times: “It’s in the early planning stages. It’s part of our ambition that some of our legacy from Broadbridge Heath is re-invested in sport and leisure.”

He said the country park area is ‘looking tired’ and the local authority will be making a ‘substantial investment’ to improve it.

The cabinet member did not disclose how much the play area is likely to cost but stressed: “We’re not going to write a blank cheque.”

It is hoped money made from deals over the Broadbridge Heath Quadrant will help pay for these plans.

Visitor numbers to the park have reportedly been booming as people discover the newly-refurbished café with its beautiful lakeside views.

Ideas about improving parking facilities in the park are also being thrown around.

Plans to enhance Southwater Country Park comes after news of a cash injection of £50,000 which will pave the way for a brand new multi-user games area in the village.

The massive financial boost from the National Lottery will see an upgrade at the village leisure centre.

The new facility will give visitors the chance to play a number of sports such as basketball, netball and five-a-side football.

It will also provide new opportunities for badminton, gymnastics, trampolining, martial arts, dance, and exercise classes.

Peter Buckley, Southwater Parish Council chairman, is overjoyed with the award.

He said: “We are delighted to have secured this investment from the Inspired Facilities Fund.

“This means we can after many years of consultation now improve the provision of sporting facilities within the Southwater community.”

The generous grant comes as part of Sport England’s £17 million Inspired Facilities fund.