Construction gets under way of new play park facilities at Peatlands Park

Date published: 21 May 2019

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced the construction of a new bespoke nature inspired play park at Peatlands Park, Dungannon.

Managed by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), Peatlands Park is a popular visitor facility, with approximately 140,000 visitors per year. Construction on the new play park development got under way this week, with an expected completion date of August 2019.

Welcoming the start of construction work, John Early of NIEA said: “We are pleased that construction work has begun on the new play park facilities. We hope to be able to capture the imagination of younger visitors by providing play opportunities which link to some of the habitats and species found in Peatlands Park.

“The bespoke play park will have two areas. One which is recommended for children aged two and above and a section recommended for children aged eight and above.

“The play park has been designed to include bespoke elements such as giant bog cotton posts, giant bluebells, giant carved animals, an apple walk through which children can walk through giant carved apples, a large damselfly structure, basket swings, a pendulum swing and a large sundew scramble inspired by a carnivorous plant commonly found in the peat bog at Peatlands Park at which children can scramble across nets to platforms at various heights.”

The development has been designed to cater for all abilities. The play park surface will be finished with a bonded rubber mulch, providing a natural look finish, but also to allow for access for wheelchair users and prams with elements such as the basket swing and sensory area suitable for use by all.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, an Agency within the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, manages seven Country Parks and approximately 55 Nature Reserves across Northern Ireland.
  2. Peatlands Park is situated near the shores of Lough Neagh just off the M1 Motorway at Junction 13 South East of Dungannon. The site is 265 Ha (680 acres) with many raised wooden boardwalks pathways and wood chipped pathways. There are over 16km (10 miles) of pathways leading through the many and varied habitats that can be found within the Park.
  3. Entry to the Country Park is free. The Park is open 9am to 9pm daily to 30 September 2019. Free car parking is also available on site during Park opening hours.
  4. The Play Park development is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs. It is being take forward by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) in conjunction with the Construction and Procurement Delivery (CPD) via the appointed contractors White Mountain (part of the Breedon Group) and the specialist playground company Infinite Playgrounds.
  5. Visitors can enjoy a take a walk through 16km of paths or have fun on the Peatlands train - which travels through tree-lined corridors and across the peat bog.
  6. The train at Peatlands Park operates at weekends and on public holidays during July and August. Tickets for the train can be purchased at the train platform. Two of the carriages have been specially adapted to allow wheelchair users to also enjoy the train ride and scenery of the Park.
  7. Peatlands Park, the first of its type in the British Isles, was established to promote awareness of the importance of peatlands. The peat at the 680 acre site has been forming for about 10,000 years and supports many rare and notable species of plants and animals.
  8. The Park is home to a wide range of wildlife including meadow pipits and cuckoos, and many types of insects, particularly butterflies, moths, dragonflies and damselflies. Many woodland and wetland birds and several species of waterfowl nest here. Badgers and hares are also present, while lizards and newts can be found in the open bog areas.
  9. Within the Park are two National Nature Reserves which have unique flora and fauna; many of the species present are found nowhere else in Northern Ireland. Annagarriff (meaning rough bog) is a 77 hectare reserve comprising wooded drumlin hills separated by areas of regenerating cut-over bog. Mullenakill (meaning church on the hill) is a 22 hectare uncut remnant of a much more extensive bog which has been growing here for over 8,000 years and is around 9m deep.
  10. For further information about other NIEA-managed properties please visit DiscoverNI website.
  11. The department may take photographs and videos at announcements and events to publicise its work. Photographs, interviews, videos or other recordings may be issued to media organisations for publicity purposes or used in promotional material, including in publications, newspapers, magazines, other print media, on television, radio and electronic media (including social media and the internet). Photographs and videos will also be stored on the department’s internal records management system. The department will keep the photographs and recordings for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which they have been obtained. The department’s Privacy Policy is available on our website.
  12. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook.
  13. All media enquiries to DAERA Press Office or tel: 028 9052 4619.

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