Visitors to Cosmeston Country Park could soon be able to dip more than just their toes into the water by trying out one of Britain’s most popular watersports: wakeboarding.
The first of a range of new activities to be trialled at Cosmeston as part of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s plan to secure the future of its country parks by opening the popular attractions up to a range of new leisure activities, cable wakeboarding could be on offer on the Eastern lake if plans submitted this week are approved by the Council’s planning department.
Cable wakeboarding involves holding onto a rope attached to a cable mechanism which takes participants around a circuit laid out with ramps and other obstacles. It does not require participants to be towed by a boat and so is much better suited to beginners. If approved the ‘wake park’ would take up a small section of the east lake. The facility will be able to host a maximum of 4 riders per hour. The cable system that pulls riders is run using a non-polluting electric motor, allowing visitors to enjoy wakeboarding and water-skiing in an environmentally friendly way.
Cllr Gwyn John, Cabinet Member for Visible, Leisure and Regulatory Services, said: “The wakeboarding operation at Cosmeston will be unique in South Wales with the nearest similar venue being in the Cotswolds in the West of England. The scheme is environmentally friendly and we will be working with Natural Resources Wales to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on the parks’ ecology or wildlife.
“The Vale’s country parks have long proved popular with local residents and pivotal in attracting tourists to the Vale. Broadening their appeal further will, we firmly believe, not only protect them for the future but also be the next step in establishing the Vale of Glamorgan as the premier tourist destination in South Wales. This is something that could bring huge benefits for the local economy and an opportunity that all involved are excited to explore.
As well as bringing new visitors to the country park the activity is likely to attract interest in Cosmeston from across the UK as from 2017 it will be used as part of the UK competition circuit.
Gareth Stevenson of Cosmeston Lakes Wake Park said: “We have chosen Cosmeston Lakes as the location for South Wales’ only Wake Park as the site offers a stunning natural location that is within easy reach of South Wales major towns and cities. Nearby Penarth also offers the accommodation, restaurants and pubs which will encourage visitors to travel not only for day visits but also overnight stays and possibly even longer breaks.
“The attraction will be the first of its kind in South Wales and will attract visitors to Cosmeston Lakes to both participate and spectate. The park will cater for all ages and abilities, from compete beginners through to advanced riders. Cable wakeboarding is one of the most inclusive watersports and the park will host dedicated sessions for children and ladies’ clubs.
“The country park is home to many and varied forms of wildlife, flora and fauna and is a Site of Specific Scientific Interest. This has been at the forefront of our minds when developing our plans. We have already been working with Natural Resource Wales and are confident that if we continue to follow their guidance as well as that of the Council and bodies such as the RSPB and RSPCA we can ensure the wake park has only a positive impact on the park.”