October 1 2014 Latest news:
Nick Hitchens, Reporter
Thursday, August 4, 2011
»A popular country park which closed four months ago after Kent County Council managers admitted they could not afford to run it is set to reopen.
Dog walkers and nature lovers were shocked when The Reporter exclusively revealed Beacon Woods in Bean was closing in April.
However, land owners Lafarge Cement UK, in a five- year management partnership with Groundwork Kent and Medway Trust and Bean Parish Council, will reopen the park to the public on Saturday.
David Simms, Land and Planning Director for Lafarge Cement, said: “Beacon Wood is of enormous benefit to the community.
“The park will be managed and maintained to the highest possible standard, while ensuring both the protection and enhancement of flora, fauna and wildlife.”
The 70-acre site, which first opened to the public in 1992, contains a number of historic landmarks including a beacon used to signal the coming of the Spanish Armada in the 17th Century and a former gunpowder factory, as well as wildlife.
It closed after Kent County Council announced it would no longer manage the site, and Lafarge were unable to find a replacement.
Neil Pearson-Coffey, Vice-chairman of Bean Parish Council, said: “We are delighted and excited about this new partnership with Lafarge and Groundwork and look forward to managing Beacon Wood for the enjoyment of all visitors whilst protecting this unique area.”