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Funding for the borough’s first country park approved

Artist impression: Atkins Architects, Carly Parramore and Simon Kneafsey

Proposals to create a country park at Horseshoe Lake in Sandhurst were approved by Bracknell Forest Council’s executive when they met on Tuesday, 12 February.

Following the funding go ahead, the council will be working with other partner organisations on further feasibility work as part of the design process.

Next steps will be to prepare a planning application for the country park, including completing traffic and wildlife surveys, which will inform the scheme design. A consultation will be carried out with key organisations including Natural England and local partners (including Sandhurst Town Council) focusing on enhancing the site for both people and wildlife.

Opportunities proposed for visitors include:

  • longer visits – through providing toilets, baby change, shelter, refreshments and picnic opportunities
  • accessible nature for those with limited mobility – through more accessible places to enjoy spectacular views and wildlife watching, over the Blackwater Valley and Finchampstead Ridges
  • environmental learning for children and adults – through interpretation, indoor and outdoor displays, events and volunteering
  • healthy outdoor exercise and play – through a natural play area, walking routes and events, both on and off the water
  • access to parking – improved and expanded parking to ensure the site can confidently cater for existing and future demand

Cllr Iain McCracken, Executive Member for Culture, Delivery and Public Protection, said:

“I am delighted that the council is taking forward further work to establish a country park for our residents.

“We already manage a large number of parks and natural open spaces and this provides residents the opportunity to experience the beauty of Horseshoe Lake with a number of new facilities to enable longer stays and further access to wildlife and nature.”

“The investment in this site will also help create income to support the council in maintaining the many open spaces across the borough to the high standard our residents expect.”