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Enchanting children’s play trails officially opened at Gosford Forest Park

£850,000 investment creates the ultimate outdoor play adventure for generations

Five iconic outdoor adventure play trails are officially opened at Gosford Forest Park in Markethill.

Featured along a 3km woodland trail and designed using naturally sustainable materials such as wood and rope, visitors can now discover an enchanting new play adventure in the stunning grounds of Gosford Forest Park.

Playful woodland planting, tree-top nests, huge climbing trees, a giant hollow log and opportunities to learn about Gosford’s heritage and history awaits to be explored and adored on family adventures.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Councillor Kevin Savage and Minister of Rural Affairs Edwin Poots officially opened the adventure play trails on Tuesday, following the successful delivery of a £850,000 investment to develop and enhance the park.

Speaking at the official opening Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Councillor Kevin Savage commented: “These beautifully crafted new play structures are an important addition to the offering at
Gosford and this development dramatically enhances this outdoor experience for children and families to enjoy as they reconnect with nature.

“This is a fabulous addition to our portfolio of outdoor attractions that will be enjoyed for generations to come, and already we are seeing huge benefits as increasing numbers of families explore the great outdoors
during these current times.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs for the significant funding and to congratulate everyone involved in bringing this project to its fruition.”

Also speaking at the launch, Minister for Rural Affairs, Edwin Poots commented: “Tourism is vitally important to our rural economy and that is why we wanted to invest in infrastructure that would help attract more visitors to Northern Ireland and encourage them to stay longer.

“I’m therefore delighted to be announcing the opening of the adventure play trail, and I am confident that this unique play park will become another must see destination for tourists arriving to this stunning part of Northern Ireland when Covid restrictions eventually recede.

“It is clear from my visit here today that the creation of innovative visitor experiences that showcase our natural landscape, which are compelling and accessible to all, can offer long term sustainability and growth for rural tourism in Northern Ireland.”

Delivered by Outdoor Recreation NI, Doran Consulting Ltd, award-winning architects Davies White Ltd and contractor Gerald Davies Ltd. Funding of £500,000 was secured from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) under the Rural Tourism Scheme of the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020, with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council providing the additional £350,000.

The new outdoor adventure play experience complements the recent 16km development of multi-use trails for walking, running, cycling and horse-riding, establishing Gosford Forest Park as a top destination for locals and visitors to experience in Northern Ireland.

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