PLANS for a farm park, nature reserve and outdoor activity centre near Abingdon have been revealed.

The public were given the opportunity to comment on the proposals for a new farm-based activity centre at an exhibition held at Abingdon Cricket Club on Thursday.

Currently called ‘Project Swift’, the activity centre, which is to be located at Culham Hill, will be designed around the natural features of the site, which include a babbling brook, reed beds and water meadow, wildflower meadow, windmill and pond.

Most activities will be outdoor, and will include a nature trail, pond dipping, sensory trail, gardens and animal displays.

The current designs stress any development within the site, which is part of the green belt, will be limited to supporting facilities such as catering, indoor play and an educational theatre.

They also state all buildings will be located in a way so they do not spoil the surrounding views by taking advantage of the natural slope at the site.

Other attractions are likely to include cycle trails and a small camping area for around 10 to 12 tents, with the spot described as for glamping in the plans that went on display at the exhibition.

The plans reveal the site will be open to visitors from 10am to 5pm, although this is likely to be extended to 6pm at weekends and during the summer holidays.

When the farm first opens and visitor numbers are lower, access would be from Thame Lane, using an existing gateway access point on the bend of the road.

Once visitor numbers rise – estimated to be after four years – the access would be re-located to a location directly off Abingdon Road.

Nick Laister, operational director with RPS Planning & Development, which is preparing the planning application, said: “The South Oxfordshire district does not currently benefit from a farm-based visitor facility and the applicant considers that this site is an ideal location for Project Swift, within Science Vale UK, close to Didcot and Abingdon and the key employment sites at Culham, Milton Park and Harwell, as well as having good accessibility by rail.

"It will provide a unique educational resource for the expanding local community, and we very much hope that it will be welcomed.”

“I would like to thank everybody who attended the exhibition.

"We had a good turnout and received a significant amount of feedback from members of the public.

"In general, the farm park and outdoor activity centre proposal was well received, but there were a number of areas of concern raised, which we are now looking into."

Mr Laister said RPS would be producing a report providing more detail on the comments received at the exhibition and that they expected to make some changes to the proposals to respond to the issues raised.

RPS did not reveal when it will officially respond to the feedback or submit a planning application.