‘Pugneys is still very much open for business’

Ralph Wolstenholme owns Pugneys Light Railway.
Ralph Wolstenholme owns Pugneys Light Railway.

Miniature train driver Ralph Wolstenholme is urging people to visit Pugneys Country Park during the summer.

Mr Wolstenholme, owner of Pugneys Light Railway, says he has noticed a decrease in visitors since the Express reported in March that Wakefield Council could transfer the management of the country park to the private sector as part of a savings strategy.

Mr Wolstenhome said: “I know people think it is closed but it is not. Visitors thought it was a done deal and there’s has been a noticeable decline in footfall at the park.

“As a tenant, I’m sure I will be one of the first to be told by the council about any plans and I haven’t heard anything. I am in the process of signing a new five-year lease so the park is not going anywhere soon.

“Pugneys is a very beautiful place and has a lot to offer. It isn’t just a lake to walk around like some other country parks – we have a lot of activities for all the family and I urge people to come down and enjoy it.”

Coun Les Shaw, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “We are still investigating the options for Pugneys and have made no decisions so far.

“Pugneys remains open for business and is a popular place for walking, cycling, water sports and a ride on the train, especially in this glorious weather.

“We’ve had no feedback which indicates people think the lake has closed, in fact it continues to be incredibly well-used.”