Nottingham

Country park opens on former Gedling Colliery site

Gedling Country Park Image copyright Friends of Gedling Country Park
Image caption There have been plans to turn the former Gedling Colliery into a park since it closed in 1991

A former Nottinghamshire colliery has been transformed into a country park which is due to officially open later.

The 240-acre Gedling Country Park, which is already home to wildlife including birds, muntjac deer and hares cost £1.1m to convert.

MP Vernon Coaker, who has pushed to open the park since the colliery shut in 1991, described it as a "green lung" for the area.

There are plans to open a visitor centre on the site in the future.

Gedling Borough Council and the Friends of Gedling Country Park worked together to redevelop the land, including removing derelict buildings and potentially hazardous waste.

Image copyright Friends of Gedling Country Park
Image caption Muntjac, badgers, foxes and hares have been seen in the park

Friends chairman Terry Lock said there are more than 100 bird species at the site.

"We've had muntjac reported here. I've seen a badger sett, we've got foxes, hares and it'll develop as time goes on," he said.

He said it will be a "couple of years" before funds are raised to open a visitor centre and heritage centre in the park.

Image copyright Friends of Gedling Country Park
Image caption The park also contains paths, lagoons and a solar farm

Gedling MP Mr Coaker said: "It's beautiful now but what it will be like in a few years' time when it's even more established?

"It's a green lung for Gedling, a green lung for the city and something everyone can enjoy."

The park, which contains greenery, paths and lagoons as well as a solar farm, officially opens with a day of events starting at 11:00 GMT.

Conservationists had argued the site should be left undisturbed as it was a breeding ground for rare birds.

Image caption The former colliery site has been taken over by nature

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites