Rother Valley Country Park
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The Rother Valley Country Park is a country park in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham, South Yorkshire, close to Rotherham's border with Sheffield and Derbyshire. It covers 3 square kilometres (740 acres), has four artificial lakes, recreational activities and nature reserves. The majority of the park is on the site of a former quarry, with the main excavation sites filled by the artificial lakes. There is still much of the original quarry machinery below the water.
The park was officially opened on 27 May 1983, at a cost of £4 million. It aimed to provide an area for recreational pursuits, encourage wildlife to return to the area, and provide a flood protection plan for the areas downstream. When the construction was finished, the lakes were filled with fresh water from The Moss (about 1.6 miles (2.5 km) away) because the River Rother was so heavily polluted at that time.
The park was formerly meadows before the quarry opened and started excavation. At the eastern side of the lake stands the Bedgrave Mill courtyard, where the visitor centre is located displaying the flood defence map and the original mill mechanism "flour into grain" exhibition from when it was a water mill, also there is a craft centre and "The Stables" cafe there.
Rother Valley Country Park is home to Sheffield Cable Waterski, a cable waterski system. The system was installed when the Park was originally opened to the public and it was one of the few cable waterski systems in the UK at the time. In recent years an inflatable obstacle course has been added. The popularity of cable waterskiing has grown significantly since this time and there are now a number of these systems in the UK, mainly focused on offering kneeboarding and wakeboarding facilities and what is now called a Wake Park, which is a collection of obstacles (kickers and sliders etc.) floating in the lake that riders will "hit" on their way round and do tricks from. Very similar to a snowboard or skateboard park.
An 800-metre (2,600 ft) long narrow-gauge railway was opened on the east side of the main lake in 2009.
In February 2017, planning permission was granted for a new resort to be built alongside Rother Valley called "Gullivers Valley". It will be operated by Gullivers theme parks, which operates Gulliver's Kingdom in Matlock Bath, Gulliver's Land in Milton Keynes and Gullivers World in Warrington. The theme park will be aimed at families, and the resort will also include a water-park and accommodation in the form of glamping. Once building commences it is hoped that phase one should be open in 2020, which includes the main theme park. The site is set to be built in different phases throughout a ten–fifteen year project.
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