Country Park Café Construction Commences

Rushcliffe Borough Council has announced that work has finally begun on the refurbishment of its Education & Visitor Centre at Rushcliffe Country Park. The upgrade was first mooted in 2015 – and followed by a public consultation two years’ later.

Improvements to the building will include the addition of a permanent café, an enhanced visitors’ centre and a bookable conference room, along with improved landscaping and toilet facilities. The authority says it’s also being ‘carbon clever’ at the popular Ruddington tourist attraction by installing solar panels and an air source heat pump to supply sustainable energy to the site. This follows the removal of what it calls the Park’s ‘less effective’ wind turbines last year.

Whilst the Park Rangers have continued to work from the offices there, the main building has been shut to the public since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in early 2020. Pre COVID-19 these other rooms were used for educational displays, ‘pop-up’ coffee mornings run by The Friends of Rushcliffe Country Park and other social activities such as ‘Wildlife Watchers’ and the two weekly ‘Parkruns’.

Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Communities and Climate Change Cllr Abby Brennan (below – centre) met the Friends’ chairperson Ann Towel (left) and Park Manager Alastair Glenn (right) to view the start of the eagerly awaited works.

Cllr Brennan says: “It’s set to be an exciting 2022 for the park with these greener new facilities in place in the coming months and will mean even more people can enjoy its features and surroundings. The environment is a key priority for us and it’s only right one of our flagship parks leads by example with ever more sustainable changes that will benefit all. We know how many local people and visitors from further afield love this park and we’re delighted to be making these changes in conjunction with the Friends of Rushcliffe Country Park.”

Ann adds: “It’s wonderful the park’s focus continues to be ever greener and our volunteers are supportive of the changes with the visitor centre and public toilets. I am sure the new facilities will be welcomed by thousands of visitors from near and far.”

The initial focus is on the external infrastructure, with work on the existing visitor centre and toilets taking place at a later date. Park users are asked to follow all local signage whilst works take place, including the volunteer car park now being unavailable, with a new facility set to be in place in due course.

The current toilet block, Rangers’ Office & Education Centre

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