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Exciting new educational features unveiled at South Hill Park

Cutting the ribbon to open the new balance beam. Pictured from left (top row) – Jackie Burgess, Cllr Gill Birch, Cllr Iain McCracken, Geoff Loveday, Nick Speakman, Allan Moffat, Cllr Tony Virgo (Borough Mayor), Cllr Isabel Mattick (Madam Mayoress), Gladys

A new balance beam and nature trail were officially opened last Monday at South Hill Park.

The new permanent features which were funded using s106 developer money have been created for use and enjoyment by visitors to this Bracknell Forest heritage park, and will help promote education and learning about natural surroundings.

The balance beam is a 30 metre long wooden carving that contains round discs along its length which contains different facts about trees and nature. Carved and created by local chainsaw sculptor Nick Speakman of 3D Wood, the balance beam is the same length as the height of the tallest tree at South Hill Park, a Wellingtonia.

The nature trail includes a number of wooden and metal wildlife sculptures, which are created on a wildlife theme and are cleverly placed in branches of trees and strategic places throughout the woods. People are encouraged to try and spot bats hanging from branches and owls hiding in trees.

The new features are made from a variety of woods that are strong and durable and will last for many years to come. A leaflet will be made available to give further explanation of the nature trail, teaching people about the importance of the woodland ecosystem and providing the opportunity for educational games and learning along the way.

Cllr Iain McCracken, executive member for culture, corporate services and public protection, said:

We are delighted to be able to provide these new features, which are free to use and available at all times, and hope that they will increase people’s enjoyment and understanding of the park.

The learning and engagement opportunities they present should benefit all those who visit this popular heritage park, including local schools, families and communities.

Ensuring that local people can easily access good leisure and recreational facilities is important in promoting health and wellbeing and in maintaining the high quality standards to which we aspire to manage our parks and open spaces.

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