New tourist haven for food and farming

NORTH Somerset councillors had a sneak preview of a new 70-acre tourist attraction due to open in Puxton this summer. The development, called Puxton Park, in Mays Green Lane, is a multimillion pound working farm, expected to encourage over 120,000 visitor

NORTH Somerset councillors had a sneak preview of a new 70-acre tourist attraction due to open in Puxton this summer.The development, called Puxton Park, in Mays Green Lane, is a multimillion pound working farm, expected to encourage over 120,000 visitors a year.The attraction, due to open on July 7, is being built by Mead Realisations, headed by dairy farmer and developer Derek Mead and will be run by managing director Alistair Mead.The aim is to provide information and allow visitors to discover facts about food and farming and to become better informed about what they eat and where it comes from.Puxton Park will do this in a fun environment where families can enjoy walks through livestock pens, see a beautiful lake with a wildlife hide, cows being milked and learn how dairy herds are looked after. They will be able to see different crops, areas illustrating conservation practices, a 1,000 seat arena with regular displays of birds of prey, traditional crafts, machinery and a whole variety of activities.The main buildings have been designed to blend in with the environment and have many energy saving and green systems, including a huge grass roof on one.Councillors Ann Harley, Ian Porter, Tim Marler and Tony Lake, who were given a tour of the site, said they were impressed by the rapid progress of the development, which was just a series of fields when they visited during its planning process 18 months ago. The park will will also include a children's play barn incorporating a 28 foot free fall slide, two restaurants, a farm shop and a £15,000 bridleway.The Puxton Park team has already planted over 5,000 trees on the site and built a two acre lake, which was a condition of obtaining planning permission for the development. Project manager Fred McCaig has also been liaising with the Avon Wildlife Trust and the environment network of North Somerset to improve the wildlife habitats on the site.He is also keen to include as much local produce as possible in the farm shop. He said: "Being Somerset based, we want a lot of Somerset produce in our Puxton shop."I have been amazed at how much high quality produce is available locally."The 25 full-time staff and 15 part-time staff that will be needed to help run the park, which will be open seven days a week, are now being recruited.


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