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Nature park’s viewing platform officially opened

A PICNIC area where people will eventually be able to watch the Wey & Arun Canal being restored was officially opened on Saturday, October 24th.

Around 100 people watched Guildford MP Anne Milton launch the Trust’s outdoor dining site – on a viewing platform in Hunt Nature Park, alongside the A281 Horsham Road at Shalford.

Mrs Milton unveiled a commemorative plaque in the centre of the platform’s unusual hexagonal decking.

The platform currently offers views across the Cranleigh Waters stream to veteran oak trees, meadowland and shallow ponds. But Philip Oliver, manager of WACT’s Bramley Link project, told the crowd it would be an ideal place to watch the canal being re-created when the time comes.

Explaining the Trust’s plans for bringing the canal back to life in the area, he said the park demonstrated the commitment to creating a ‘green corridor’ along the length of the waterway.

WACT chairman Sally Schupke also stressed the intention of extending a linear park. “It’s great to be providing facilities which benefit the people of Guildford, Shalford, Bramley and the surrounding villages and the many people who come here on the Wey-South Path,” she said.

Mrs Milton declared the viewing platform open following entertainment by a lively local band and the serving of refreshments to those present.

She praised the work of the Trust in establishing the park as part of its plan to restore the Wey & Arun Canal from Shalford to Pallingham in West Sussex.

“There are wonderful views from here and I hope people come and enjoy this excellent facility which is so close to the centre of Guildford,” she added.