Work started this week on a £130,000 upgrade to the children’s play park at Druridge Bay Country Park.
The new park will incorporate a variety of equipment suitable for toddlers to young teens, including a roundabout, seesaw, swings, a shark spinner, forest lake boat and an ocean dome.
The work is due to be completed in time for the school summer holidays and forms part of a wider scheme by Northumberland County Council to significantly improve facilities at Druridge Bay, as well as at Plessey Woods and Bolam Lake.
Earlier this year, the authority agreed to invest almost £1million to provide a range of improvements and upgrades including improved paths and parking, play areas and enhancements to visitor centres.
In order to pay for this investment, parking charges will be reintroduced from July 16 at the three sites, although the first hour will be free. All-day parking will cost £3, while up to two hours will be £1.60. Season permits valid in all three parks will cost £35.
Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services at the county council, said: “With so many indoor activities and the rising use of technology, it is so important to have go-to places like our country parks where children and families can socialise, exercise and have fun.
“We are making a significant investment in our parks and are committed to ensuring they remain an attractive place to visit and spend time in.
“Play is such an important part of what our parks have to offer yet the equipment at Druridge Bay had become worn out and dated.
“We are sure the new play park, when open, will prove a big hit with both local children and visitors alike.”