Adventure park expands to create more picnic space

Saturday April 15th 2023


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

The adventure park in the middle of a Midlothian country estate has been given the go ahead to expand to create more picnic space for visitors.

Fort Douglas Adventure Park, in Dalkeith Country Park, is a popular attraction for families, with zipwires, climbing walls, mazes and tunnels to explore.

The Buccleuch Estate, which owns the park, said recent expansions of the play area meant open space had been reduced and it wanted to add nearly half a hectare of additional land into the popular attraction.

Now Midlothian planners have approved an application to expand the boundary of Fort Douglas and fence in an area of park and agricultural land to the east of the site.

The adventure park, which is open seven days a week, has added two giant jumping pillows to its equipment in the last couple of years and recently announced the return of children’s birthday parties to the adventure park.

A spokesperson for the estate told planners: “The space is proposed to be used as general amenity space.

“Due to the past expansion and the ongoing popularity of the Fort Douglas activity offering, we’ve found that open areas for picnics and activities has reduced, so want to extend the overall space.”

Planners were told no trees would be removed from the land as part of the proposals and praised the estate for creating Fort Douglas around existing trees.

However they approved the expansion with a condition that any plans to cut down any trees in the future would need council approval.

They said: “The Fort Douglas development has successfully incorporated large numbers of existing trees within the play structures.

“Whilst both the existing Norway Spruce plantation and leylandii hedge are non-native species they add to the woodland setting of Fort Douglas and provide visual screening in views from the east and south.

“It would be reasonable to condition that no trees are removed without the prior written authorisation of the planning authority and that replacement planting be provided for any trees that are felled.”

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