Adventure play park at Stanwick Lakes destroyed by fire

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Burnt play equipmentImage source, Stanwick Lakes
Image caption,
The all-wood play equipment at Stanwick Lakes has been destroyed by a fire

A play area at a major countryside attraction has been destroyed by fire.

The majority of the all-wood play park equipment at Stanwick Lakes in Northamptonshire was destroyed in an "arson attack," the company said.

More than 1,000 people have expressed sadness and anger on the attraction's Facebook page.

The 750-acre nature reserve and park is managed by environmental charity Rockingham Forest Trust, in partnership with East Northamptonshire Council.

Northamptonshire Police said it was working with the fire service to establish the cause of the blaze.

Image source, Raunds Fire Station
Image caption,
Northamptonshire Fire crews tackled the blaze in the early hours of Saturday

The fire reportedly began after 01:00 BST on Saturday.

Northamptonshire Fire Service has appealed for information about how it started.

Image source, Katrina Gani
Image caption,
The play area at Stanwick Lakes is popular with families

Katrina Gani, from Harrold in Bedfordshire, took her two sons to the playground on Thursday and said the fire was "horrendous".

"We had so much fun. The children never tire of coming here as the adventure playground is so big and there so much to see and do. It is a beautiful place to visit."

Laura Miller, of Milton Keynes Kids, said the play area at Stanwick Lakes was "the best" and attracted families far beyond Northamptonshire.

"My children have wonderful memories of playing there as I'm sure do thousands of others. I have no doubt that many people will want to help in whatever way they can to get it rebuilt as soon as possible," Ms Miller said.

A crowdfunding page set up to raise money to replace the equipment has already surpassed its target of £2,500.

Image source,
Image caption,
The play equipment was renovated in 2019

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