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Spectacular new playground is open

One of the biggest and best-equipped playgrounds in the country has opened at Alver Valley country park.

The Gosport Borough Council play area has separate zones for toddlers, juniors and older children, with a mix of traditional play equipment, fitness trails and challenges, surrounding a central hill fort. A major feature is a 12m tower with three tube slides.

The playground celebrates the area's wildlife, with a climbing wall featuring snakes, newts and other creatures.

There are features for children with disabilities, as well as cycle paths and bike racks.

The new play area is on the western side of the country park, close to the roundabout on Cherque Way in Lee-on-the-Solent. Construction followed a consultation to find out what local residents wanted.

Stevyn Ricketts, head of Streetscene at the council, said: “This is a fantastic facility and an exciting addition to the country park. Children are going to have huge amounts of fun, and all the activities available will help them have a healthy lifestyle. The play equipment suits the environment and will encourage families to connect with nature and enjoy the vast area of the country park."

The council commissioned Wicksteed Playgrounds to design the site. The company's sales director, Stuart Wetherell, said: “This is one of our largest projects, costing £450,000, and has involved extensive landscaping and the installation of larger play structures such as the tower, which will give kids an incredible birds-eye view of the play area.  The many bespoke elements mean that this is a truly unique play space and we hope it will bring in visitors from far and wide."

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