A good summer at Pugneys Country Park?

Pugneys Country Park, Wakefield.'w319e443
Pugneys Country Park, Wakefield.'w319e443
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Wakefield Council says it has been a “good and positive” summer for the new look Pugneys Country Park.

The park was relaunched in March to save it from closure after the council said it could no longer afford to spend £260,000 each year to run it.

The council commercialised the park by attracting businesses to run new activities at the site.

It was split into seven different zones, each with their own attractions which included zorbs, inflatable slides and a nature zone.

Coun Les Shaw, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said the council has received good feedback from visitors about the changes.

But the Friends of Pugneys claimed most of the new attractions were not really in keeping with the park.

Coun Shaw said: “Anecdotally we know it has been a good summer for Pugneys.

“The organised events have been very popular. Visitors have told us they’ve welcomed having more opportunities to be active and have fun such as taking part in nature trails and trying different water sports.

“We will be doing a full review of the plan for Pugneys and although it’s too early for us to give a detailed picture, the early indications suggest it’s been a good and positive start to the new look Pugneys.”

But the friends group criticised the new activities claiming visitors were unhappy with the costs.

A spokeswoman for the group said: “We are delighted that Wakefield Council have taken steps to keep the park in the public domain.

“But parents are unhappy being badgered by their children to spend more money, when they have already paid for parking.

“It looks very untidy around the bouncy castle and mini roundabout area, which is taking up valuable parking spaces. Litter has also become more of a problem around the park, due to staffing reductions, and obviously this does put visitors off.”

The council will carry out a review of the changes at Pugneys at the end of October.

And Coun Shaw said the council is already planning to introduce new features at the park next year.

He said: “We are planning a new children’s play area and a ‘trim’ trail for adults where they can enjoy a range of exercise opportunities.

“We will also give businesses who ran attractions the opportunity to provide feedback on their experiences as we plan ahead for next year.”