Popular camping destination reveals plans to expand
PUBLISHED: 11:50 03 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:50 03 October 2020
Old Buckenham Country Park
A countryside retreat where visitors can camp in wild surroundings has unveiled plans to expand.
Old Buckenham Country Park, located to the south of the village, is looking to create a total of 80 additional pitches - 40 for camping and another 40 for caravans.
The 35-acre site already boasts a coffee shop, gym facilities and an assault course, all within parkland home to natural lakes, an array of wildlife and several trails for visitors to explore.
Owner Ben Devlin says being given permission to grow will allow the park to continue offering “something for all the family”.
“Four years ago when I bought the site, we wanted to add something to the community and allow families to come and enjoy the countryside,” said Mr Devlin, 38.
“With this expansion we’re hoping to do more of what we’ve already done this year. We have ensured everybody is spread out and created bays in the long grass to make it a more wild experience.
“The unfortunate situation with Covid was that we had to shut for three months, but since then everyone has wanted staycations. It has given us a platform to do what we have always wanted to do.”
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The increasingly popular holiday destination has been open for three-and-a-half years after Mr Devlin received planning consent to convert agricultural land to a leisure facility.
Amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis it faced its biggest challenge yet, but was financially stable enough to not make use of the furlough scheme or government grants.
In fact, over the busy summer period, the park employed 12 additional workers who are being kept on into next year.
And Mr Devlin says the pandemic has only emphasised the importance of communities looking out for each other.
He added: “I’ve spoken to local pubs and they have all said what a great thing [the expansion]. They are all getting great business from people coming to the area and staying with us.
“It has been heartwarming to see the park go from a disused field to something that creates jobs and offers something to the wider community.
“We’ve had doubters, but this is as simple as creating an environment where families can have fun and enjoy the outdoors.”
An application for the expansion has been submitted to Breckland Council.
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