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Petition calling on Havering Council to reject Go Ape's Bedfords Park proposal earns more than 2,000 signatures

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 November 2017

A Go Ape course could soon be in the trees above Bedfords Park.

A Go Ape course could soon be in the trees above Bedfords Park.

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A petition calling on Havering Council to reject proposals for a Go Ape adventure centre in Bedfords Park has gained more than 2,150 signatures in five days.

Earlier this month, the Recorder broke the news that high-wire adventure park company was in the early stages of drawing up plans to lease two sections of the Romford Park to construct an adventure centre.

But now, resident activists Lorraine Moss and Jan Sargent have begun a petition calling on the council to protect the historic park’s 215 acres of plush green land.

Lorraine told the Recorder: “I’m really not against the idea of a Go Ape coming to Romford at all, I just think Bedfords Park is the wrong place to have one.

“The reaction we’ve had online since the petition went up has been amazing, so hopefully the council will see that people in Romford don’t want a Go Ape in Bedfords Park.”

The GLA also deemed Bedfords a Site of Metropolitan Importance, meaning it has been recognised by both the Mayor of London and the London Wildlife Sites Board as green space crucial to the quality of life across the city.

Maintained by the Essex Wildlife Trust and Havering Council, the park is home to a wide range of birds and other wildlife, and there are also concerns opening an activity centre in the park would have a huge impact on their habitat.

Lorraine, who has previously played a large role in organising resistance to plans for solar turbines in Bedfords Park, said any construction in the area would set a dangerous precedent.

She said: “Once Havering Council decides to start selling off space in our public parks who knows where it will end?”

In an online poll, 64pc of Recorder website readers said they were in favour of the award-winning leisure company establishing a new centre in Bedfords Park.

Go Ape did not respond to the Recorder’s request for comment.

But on November 1, Frances Buck, Go Ape’s business development manager, confirmed the company was “in early discussions regarding the possibility of bringing an adventure to Bedfords Park” and stressed proposals were in the initial stages of a pre-planning consultation process.

To learn more about the petition, or to sign it, visit: www.change.org/p/cllr-roger-ramsey-say-no-to-the-proposed-go-ape-application-for-bedfords-park.

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