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Visitors flock to open day at Aldenham Country Park
Pony rides, farm tours and tree planting were just some of the activities on offer at Aldenham Country Park for the official opening of its new look today.
Hundreds of people turned out to enjoy the park for the first time since new operator Agrarian Renaissance signed a new 30-year lease for the attraction, last month.
Families enjoyed the sunshine and the day’s free parking to see the new attractions, which include pony rides, a community farming field, a young farmer’s play area and an adventure woodland.
New operator Tim Waygood said: “Things are going great and it’s lovely to see so many people enjoying themselves.
“For me working on this site is about reconnecting people with land and food and it’s great to see people enjoying it and reconnecting with real farming.”
Agrarian Renaissance also unveiled its community farming field, which has five strips of ploughed earth that can be used by community groups to grow their own crops and sell at the park.
The field will also be home to the park’s heritage orchard, which members of the Aldenham Country Park Trust helped to plant as part of the open day.
Mr Waygood’s business partner Robert Marsden, said: “There’s still a lot of work to do here and we ask people to be patient, as we want to make sure we get it right.
“We want to make the park and the farm sustainable for the long term.”
Hertfordshire County Council announced in 2010 it would close facilities at the Aldenham Road site as a cost cutting measure.
Mayor of Elstree and Borehamwood and member of the Aldenham Country Park Trust, Sandra Parnell, said: “It’s wonderful that we were able to save this park and I’m so excited about the things they’re going to introduce here.
“It’s such a huge relief to see it being used again and it’s just wonderful to see all the children running about and having fun.”
Mother-of three Jen Decosta, who was visiting the park, said: “When we first heard about the park possibly being closed, my girls were really upset. They even went out on their bikes delivering leaflets to save the park.
“I’m delighted they’ve been able to keep it open and now it’s even better because there are more activities and the community is getting involved. Long may it continue.”