Police and Fire investigators hunting clues over what started Stanwick Lakes playground blaze

Local MP joins calls for anyone with information about last night's fire to come forward

Saturday, 10th April 2021, 4:08 pm
Updated Saturday, 10th April 2021, 4:16 pm
This was the scene on Saturday morning after a blaze destroyed the adventure playground

Investigators are still looking into the cause of a blaze which destroyed the Stanwick Lakes adventure playground during the early hours of Saturday morning.

Firefighters were called to the wooden structure at around 1.16am but could not save the various swings, bridges and climbing frames which make up the kids' play area.

But a Northamptonshire Police statement at 3pm did not reveal if it is believed the fire was started deliberately or by accident.

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Firefighters tackled the blaze after receiving a 999 call at 1.15am. Photo: Raunds Fire Station

A spokesman said: "An investigation is under way and we are currently working with our Fire Service colleagues to establish the cause of the fire at the adventure playground at Stanwick Lakes."

One of a number of unofficial fund-raising pages set up HERE had received more than £10,000 in donations by 2pm on Saturday after setting an initial target of £2,500.

A statement from the Rockingham Forest Trust, which manages the Lakes, indicated they would be setting up their own appeal in due course, although donations can also be made via the Trust's own website HERE.

Reports of the fire on Stanwick Lakes Facebook page pulled in more than 1,200 comments, mostly from angry and sad parents.

The popular playground was refurbished in 2019

Local MP Tom Pursglove tweeted his support, saying: "I'm so sorry to hear what has happened to the play area at Stanwick Lakes overnight and I will help the brilliant team there in any way I can to get this damage put right and these great facilities back open ASAP.

"If you have info about how the fire started, please come forward."

Stanwick Lakes is a 750-acre countryside attraction and nature reserve, just off the A45 between Higham Ferrers and Thrapston, managed by an environmental charity and rural development trust which relies heavily on trading through the social enterprise at Stanwick Lakes and from fundraising campaigns, rather than local grants.

Its playground — which was rebuilt four years ago and refurbished in 2019 — is one of Northamptonshire's most popular attractions families and young kids and has remained open through the latest Covid-19 lockdown.