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Families are not welcome a Brokerswood Country Park
BROKERSWOOD Country Park is to close to day visitors after Christmas.
The park, popular with thosuands of families across the area, will only be open to camping and caravan holiday-makers, educational visits by schools and youth groups, and will continue running organised eco-activity days.
Managers claim the closure to day visitors is necessary due to heavy rainfall over the summer, during which large numbers of visitors abandoned muddy paths and damaged vegetation in the process.
While they have not ruled out re-opening the park to day visitors at some point in the future, no date has been set.
Park director Pauline Flemming said: “At the moment we are not making any promises about re-opening to day visitors in the future, it depends on the weather next summer, but watch this space.”
Mum Fae Bell, 33, from Trowbridge, has been visiting the park as a day visitor for several years with six-year-old son Ryan, and daughter Kayla, one.
She said: “It is just a really nice outdoor area to meet up with friends and take your children for a picnic or walk through the woods, so they can see a bit of nature.
“Unfortunately I don’t think there is anywhere like it nearby.
“I understand if they need to close it to allow the woods to recover, with so many people going through, if they do that for a couple of years that’s fair enough.
“But if it is closed off completely to local people we will be losing a great bonus to Wiltshire as places for kids to play become even more restricted these days with more traffic, and play areas being limited to a swing, a slide and some graffiti.”
Ms Flemming said the park had endured 14 weeks of non-stop rain over the summer, and maintained normal visitor numbers, around 60,000 a year.
“This has caused pretty serious damage to vegetation throughout the park as people have avoided muddy paths to walk through shrubs and taken short cuts,” she said.
“We are sorry to have to do this, but we have never had weather like we have had over the last couple of seasons and we are the guardians of these woods, we have to be responsible.
“Our plan is to focus on education and encourage people to learn about the environment we are trying very hard to support.”