PARENTS say they are planning to boycott Dalkeith Country Park after bosses revealed they were planning to start charging adults an admission fee to take their children to the adventure playground.
A £7 million revamp of the park was completed in July 2016 with a brand new outdoor play area - named Fort Douglas - at the centre of the refurbishment.
Under the current pricing structure, parents pay £3 for children aged between three and five and £5 per child for those aged between six and 12.
Adults are not currently charged for entering the park, however new guidelines introduced from March 17 will see prices rocket, with an adult and child ticket set to cost a blanket fee of £8.
Each additional child will be charged £4.50 and additional adults will be charged £2.50 each, meaning the total cost for a family of four could be up to double the previous charge.
A statement on the park’s social media pages said the increase was “essential in enabling us to operate a sustainable business which can be enjoyed for years to come”.
However, parents have reacted furiously to the news, describing the rising cost as “ridiculous”.
Posting on the Dalkeith Country Park Facebook page, bosses promised to lower prices outside of peak times, adding: “Unlike some other country parks with playgrounds we do not receive any public funding and are changing our prices for us to be able to run a sustainable business moving forwards.”
“We don’t charge for car parking and have stopped charging an entrance fee for Dalkeith Country Park at the gate so everyone can enjoy the 1,000 acres with its waymarked walks and cycling routes free of charge.
“We plan to bring forwards a mid-week, term time discount that will form part of our loyalty scheme once it’s introduced. This will give you the option to visit for less whether you’re visiting with babies and toddlers during the week or older children after school (we currently open until 5pm which will extend to 6pm in April).
“The mid-week, term time prices will be £5 for a joint child & adult ticket, £1 for an extra adult and £3 for an extra child. We will be updating our website with this information in due course.”
But parents said the reduction did not go far enough, threatening to boycott the park unless pricing was returned to usual levels.
Lisa Drofdoow posted: “Pricing is exorbitant for a play park, especially when there are other fantastic parks nearby. Good luck with it. We certainly won’t be visiting at those prices”
Andrea Harris added: “Very disappointing. We won’t be paying £10.50 for the two of us take our near ‘3 yr old.’
“Totally not worth the cost as he can’t even play on half the equipment as he’s too small and doesn’t last more than an hour.
“And if grandparents wanted to tag along they’d have to pay an extra £5 for the privilege of watching their grandchild play. I don’t know how you can justify such a cost.”
The adventure playground sits within the 2,200-acre estate owned by the Duke of Buccleuch.
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