Jurassic park built to celebrate Cuckfield’s prehistoric discoveries

MST 100315 Cuckfield Recreation Ground. New Jurassic Park themed play area. Clair Atkins and her children Joseph 5 and Cora 1. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-151003-224512001
MST 100315 Cuckfield Recreation Ground. New Jurassic Park themed play area. Clair Atkins and her children Joseph 5 and Cora 1. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-151003-224512001

A dinosaur-themed adventure playground has been unveiled in a village celebrated for its Jurassic discoveries.

Cuckfield is renowned for its early dinosaur discoveries – fossils were found in Whitemans Green and paleontologist Gideon Mantell named the Iguanodon after his wife found some large teeth while out walking in the village.

MST 100315 Cuckfield Recreation Ground. New Jurassic Park themed play area.  Joseph Atkins 5. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-151003-224405001

MST 100315 Cuckfield Recreation Ground. New Jurassic Park themed play area. Joseph Atkins 5. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-151003-224405001

The new Jurassic park at Cuckfield Recreation Ground was unveiled by The Cuckfield Society, Cuckfield Parish Council and Mid Sussex District Council on March 7.

“Children are often fascinated by dinosaurs and this new play area is bound to generate a great deal of excitement,” said Councillor Pru Moore, cabinet member for leisure and community at the district council.

“Cuckfield played a significant part in the discovery of these prehistoric creatures and I hope those who visit the recreation ground are inspired to find out more about their local history and the science that helped to make so many remarkable discoveries.”

The new park features climbing rock stacks like those in Whitemans Green, a rope bridge, dinosaur footprints and a sculpture of an Iguanodon by sculptor Hannah Stewart.

Children are often fascinated by dinosaurs and this new play area is bound to generate a great deal of excitement.

Cllr Pru Moore

Benedict White, Chairman of the Cuckfield Society said the community came together to ‘generously provide its children with this amazing new play area’.

“We hope it will foster awareness across the generations of Cuckfield’s distinct history and character,” he added.

The Cuckfield Society raised £12,250 for the new adventure area from its members, including legacies from Jennifer Chandler and Katie Stewart, the Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust, the Rotary Club and the Independent State of Cuckfield.

Mid Sussex District Council and Cuckfield Parish Council paid for a soft surface for the ground.