When you head to Nene Park, if you want to know the best walking routes with a buggy, when the mini train is running or the ideal places to spot the wildlife – who are you going to ask? The team at the Visitor Centre, Gift & Farm Shop in Ferry Meadows of course!

This fantastic green space in Peterborough is a real gem but it’s so vast and there are so many different ways to enjoy it. ESP caught up with manager Ben Gwinnett who told us the new look centre is packed with useful info, tasty food and a wide range of unusual gifts.

"We extended the old visitors centre back into what was the office," explained Ben, "creating a new larger open shop floor able to incorporate food, drinks, treats and firm favourites from our old Farm Shop location at Lakeside into the existing centre’s offer of homeware and gifts.

"This, teamed with the refurbished café next door has created a new complete retail experience to welcome customers at the entrance of Ferry Meadows.

“We are still the place to come for information, offering details of what’s going on around the Park day to day, as well as having information about trails, safe use of the Park, providing a key feedback point for visitors and of course offering our ever famous duck food!

“We are also where you can hire a mobility scooter or mountain trike for the day and you can renew or pay for a new parking membership with us here at the centre as well.”

Nene Park Trust worked with rural retail industry leaders Appetite Me to update the farm shop produce ranges available within the centre, sourcing the very best food and drink items whilst continuing to support local and regional suppliers.

You'll find freshly baked bread from Kings Cliffe Bakery, fresh meat and pies from The Peterborough Game Company and chilli sauces and scorching seasonings from Badgers Artisan Foods.

There are award winning natural fruit ciders handcrafted in Cambridgeshire by Cranes Drinks, handmade fudge from ethical supplier Fudged Up in Grantham and much more.

The product range changes with the seasons, introducing locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables alongside a selection of premium quality fresh lamb, born and reared on the Nene Park Rural Estate.

If you struggle to find something nice and unusual to give as a present there are some ideal quality gifts available too for all ages.

The really good news is that all the proceeds made from purchases are reinvested back into Nene Park, helping to maintain and nurture this much loved green space.

Ben and the team are a great source of information and can really help you make the most of your visit, even if you're a regular.

“People who come in always want to know about what’s going on around the Park at the time of their visit," said Ben. "Whether that’s if we have an event trail running, or where the play areas are, or if Nene Outdoors Pay and Play activities are on that day.

“I’m not sure I know more about the Park than the wonderful visitors, some of whom have visited the park regularly since it opened and it’s been a true pleasure to talk to them about how its developing now. However I do think people could make more of the electric boat rides out on the lake. I watch the boat from the shop window and the people who take the trips always look like they are having the best time. It’s not one to miss.”

The Visitor Centre, Gift & Farm Shop is open at Ferry Meadows in Nene Park 7 days a week, from 9am to 6pm.

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