New playground at Rufford Abbey Country Park could be open by ‘summer holidays’ after plans get the go ahead

Rufford Abbey, Ollerton.
Rufford Abbey, Ollerton.

A new children’s playground at Rufford Abbey Country Park could be open as soon as this summer after planning permission was approved.

The planning application, sumbitted and approved by Newark and Sherwood District Council, is to replace the existing Saxon Village play area with a new central play feature, amphitheatre and several stand-alone play features, a replacement and relocated cafe kiosk, landscaping and seating area, and service.

A spokesman for Parkwood Outdoors, which manages Rufford Abbey Country Park in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Planning permission for the new playground has been granted by Newark and Sherwood District Council and we are aiming to open it for the summer holidays.

“It will replace the existing Saxon village play area.

“Following the history of the abbey and England in general, the new playground is designed to provide an immersive and educational experience.

“It will be free to use and offer disabled access.”

The plans were approved by Newark and Sherwood District Council on Thursday, February 15.

Rufford Parish Council also approved the plans.

A spokesman from the council said: “Rufford Parish Council considered this application at its meeting and unanimously decided to support the application.”

Another planning application has also been submitted to the district council to extend the car park and install a car parking infrastructure at both the Abbey and Sawmill car parks.

A decision has yet to be made about this application.

Rufford Parish Council has however said it supports the proposal.

Parkwood took over responsibility for the management of the Nottinghamshire County Council-owned park’s shops, cafés and range of leisure activities a year ago.

Rufford Abbey sits in 150 acres of historic parkland, woodland and gardens in the of North Nottinghamshire area known as the Dukeries.

The park is a country park open to the public.

The park includes the ruins of a medieval Cistercian Abbey founded 1147, which was partly demolished and converted to a country house 1560 and then remodelled.