Search is on for firm to design adventure park

THE search has been launched for a firm to design and build an adventure playground at a new woodland park.

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Forestry Commission Scotland is converting a large area of derelict land near the Athletes' Village into a public space at a cost of £5.7million.

It is now inviting tenders from companies to create a range of outdoor play areas with a total budget of almost £572,000.

The park's activity zone will feature a bike pump track, bouldering park, adventure play area and trail, as well as a network of trails around the site.

The bike pump track will be designed for mountain biking, BMX and dirt jump bikes, and will be used from entry level to skilled cyclists.

It will be possible to develop two types of track because of Cuningar Loop's unusual shape.

Scotland's first outdoor bouldering park will have nine rocks with a range of features including slabs, vertical walls, overhangs shallow grooves and corners.

The adventure play area will provide challenging play activities for children and young people of all abilities.

Joneen Clarke, Forestry Commission Scotland's project manager for Cuningar Loop, said: "We are excited about being awarded the funding to develop the activity zone."

Cash for the project is being provided by the Commission and sportscotland.

Ms Clarke said: "We are inviting outdoor recreation specialists to provide design proposals to create a first class recreational infrastructure with facilities that encourage local residents and visitors to get active, get involved and be inspired."

The new woodland park will be open to the public in spring 2015.

It is hoped it will attract more than 100,000 visitors by 2021.

Major redevelopment of the site is under way with 15,000 trees, 30,000 shrubs, 40,000 bulbs and meadow grass being planted and an amphitheatre being built for outdoor learning.

Interested companies can visit the tender section of Forestry Commission Scotland's website for more information.

James Winnett, Cuningar Loop's artist in residence, has created a mobile museum of artefacts unearthed during work at the former landfill site.

He has collected a wide range of objects - including old bricks, glass bottles, kitchenware, toys, pieces of lino, melted plastic and warped watch faces - to give people an insight into the changing nature of the site and its transformation into a woodland park.

Mr Winnett said: "I have been amazed at how nature has reclaimed what was a landfill site from the 1960s onwards and how the site is being transformed again by the Forestry Commission.

"I built the mobile museum from local reclaimed materials with the help of a local 'Handy Folk' group."

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