For the first time Buckinghamshire’s Country Parks are celebrating attracting one million annual visitors.
There has been a eight per cent increase in visitors to Black Park, Denham County Park and Langley Park compared to 2015/16, with numbers have rising by almost 500,000 over the last decade.
To mark the occasion Country Parks Manager Andrew Fowler handed out golden envelopes full of vouchers to three lucky families – one in each park.
Andrew put the increase in visitors down to improvements in park facilities, including an enhanced food offer, revamped children’s playgrounds, great events and attractions such as Go Ape.
The Buckinghamshire County Council parks make all the money required to run the facilities from activities within the parks. There are exciting plans to further improve the parks, including a new mobile phone app displaying a real-time map and information and new signage around the parks.
Later this year Go Ape will launch its first ‘tree-top nets adventure course’ in the country at Black Park.
Andrew, who has worked at the parks for 23 years, said: ‘We’re delighted to get more than one million visitors for the first time – the final total was one-million-and-fifty-five visitors.
There are several reasons behind our success, but chief among them is how we’ve worked with our on-site partners San Remo Catering, Groundwork South, Go Ape and local charities to further improve what the parks have to offer.‘
Recipients of the golden envelopes were Kye Hoile and Jean Morton, from Great Missenden, who were visiting Langley Park; Laura Williams and daughter Dotty, three, from north-west London, who were visiting Denham County Park; and Victoria Willis and daughter Olivia, aged one, from Gerrards Cross, who were visiting Black Park.
Kye said: ‘It’s our first visit and we will come at least another two or three times this year. We’ve really enjoyed walking around and looking at the flowers.‘
Laura said: ‘We’re from north-west London but this is only 20 minutes’ drive away and it’s lovely to get the fresh air. We started coming here after we heard about the new playground.‘
Victoria said: ‘I’ve been coming here ever since I was a child – now there’s three generations of my family which regularly use it. It’s a wonderful place to come – I can keep both my daughter and my dog happy here.‘
Bill Chapple OBE, Cabinet Member for Planning and the Environment at Buckinghamshire County Council, said: ‘Our beautiful country parks are some of the jewels in Buckinghamshire’s crown, so I’m delighted that more people than ever are enjoying them.
This is thanks in large part to the country parks team, who have worked so hard to improve facilities and maintain the parks to the highest standards.‘
To check out what’s going on at the parks follow Bucks Country Parks on Facebook or download the ‘what’s on guide’ at http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/media/4508229/whats-on-guide_final.pdf.