New riverside pathway and playpark for Ness Country Park

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A new riverside pathway and playpark are to enhance visitor experience in Ness Country Park, Claudy has been announced by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA)

Parts of the country park were extensively damaged in flooding in August 2017.

The new pathway has been completed and construction work on the bespoke children’s play park is now underway and is due to be completed by early August 2019.

The country park is managed by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).

Announcing the improvements Adam Reid, NIEA, said: “We are pleased to announce these exciting new development plans, which will improve the experience of visitors to the park.

“During the flash flooding which occurred across the North West during August 2017 a section of riverside pathway, which led from the main Visitor Centre area to the Ness Wood area of the property, was extensively damaged in parts.

“Through agreement with an adjacent landowner, who has been extremely supportive, we have been able to complete works to reinstate public access between the main Visitor Centre area and the Ness Wood area of the park. We are pleased to confirm this pathway is now open.”

Mr Reid said a lot of work has been carried out to improve public access in recent months.

“We have also been busy over the quieter visitor months improving public access facilities by replacing steps within Ness Wood which were in need of replacement due to deterioration in their condition.

“The new play park, which will be ready for public use by early August 2019, will capture the imagination of younger visitors to the site by providing play opportunities which link to some of the habitats and species found in the park. The play park has been designed for two age categories in mind – two and over and eight and over.”

Mr Reid revealed that the bespoke playpark will include a woodland village, giant bluebells and carved animals.

It will also have basket swings, a pendulum swing, a bespoke seating shelter and a large riverbed scramble which is inspired by the river and waterfall which runs through Ness Country Park.

“The development has been designed with all abilities in mind to provide play opportunities for all. The play park surface will be finished with a bonded rubber mulch, to give a natural look finish, but also to allow for access for wheel chair users and prams with elements such as the basket swing and a sensory area suitable for use by all,” Mr Reid said.