Essex County Council is planning a huge investment in its country parks amounting to more than £3.5 million over the next three years.
Due to COVID-19, parks have been closed for a large part of the last 12 months and just £10,000 is being spent in 2021/22. But the council is planning to spend £750,000 in 2022/2023, £1.5 million in 2023/24 and another £1.5 million in 2024/25.
Despite there being provision in law for the county council to create a new country park, it says it has no plans to do so.
A spokesperson for the council said: “The funds in the capital programme that you refer to are for investing in and developing our existing award-winning country parks.
“During the pandemic, Essex Country Parks have become even more important as visitor destinations, experiencing one million visits in the past year alone, allowing residents to engage with nature and exercise in a green environment.
“We are committed to ensuring they remain high quality open spaces for residents and visitors to enjoy.
“There are no funds budgeted for creating a new country park.”