Lepe Country Park
|Hampshire County Council||Enterprise M3 LEP|
|New Forest District Council||New Forest National Park Authority|
|Friends of Lepe|
The Lookout is a striking new glass-fronted restaurant, raised above the level of the beach, to offer uninterrupted views of the sea, as well as protect against the ravages of coastal weather and any exceptionally high tides.
The structure is built on top of concrete columns to protect it from rising sea levels and tidal storm surges.
The new Sensory Cottage Garden, at Lepe Point, was funded mainly by the Friends of Lepe who raised £12,000 themselves and successfully bid for funding to complete the scheme. The garden accessible for disabled people, and provides a rich source of interest for schools and community organisations, with features including a bug hotel, a pond and water feature, bog garden, a wildflower garden and a pagoda for climbing plants – all built and maintained by the hard-working volunteer group.
There have also been exciting additions to the playground, including a snake balance beam and ‘track rider’ where children can hold on to the beam to glide through the air. For younger adventurers, forest hideaways provide climbing and hiding places.
These attractions have been brought together by improved paths, parking and toilet facilities, with a particular focus on improving access for people with disabilities.
The £2.9 million transformation programme has been designed to make the park more financially self-sustaining in the long term.
In 2014 the previous cafe suffered about £100,000 of damage after it was flooded by a ferocious storm that struck the south coast.
The county council contributed £1.85m towards the project, with £880,000 from the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Local Growth Fund. New Forest District Council also contributed £50,000 to the scheme, with the Friends of Lepe adding £12,000.
Opened May 2018
Quotes of note
“Lepe Country Park has always been a very popular destination. Our aim was to attract more people to visit and stay longer at the park, by providing new modern facilities that can help turn a visit into a great day out. We need to make Lepe financially self-sustaining, for future generations to enjoy.”
Councillor Roy Perry
Leader, Hampshire County Council
“We were delighted to invest in this project which will make a significant contribution to our aims to promote the Enterprise M3 area as a region with an enviable natural environment and an economy focusing on clean growth.”
Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)