Major work to clear a Warwick national park is under way after years of complaints about the area going to rot.

Workers at the Southlands Park have cleared the overgrowth on several dilapidated buildings as well as in fields, footpaths and roadside areas.

However, a spokesman for the Department of Public Works had not responded to requests for comment about the work or plans for the park as of press time last night.

The Government formally obtained the 37-acre Southlands estate in 2012 as part of a land swap involving 80 acres of brownfield land at Morgan’s Point.

The move was celebrated by environmentalists, who had campaigned since 2007 to protect the site from a hotel development.

The property was formally declared a national park in 2017 but, while several clean-ups have take place, concerns have been raised about the site falling into disrepair.

Invasive species such as Mexican pepper, Indian laurel and morning glory were in abundance at the site, with some of the plants growing into the dilapidated buildings.

Last year, the Government launched an online survey which asked the public to express their views about how the property could be improved.

The survey options include restrooms, a café, a restaurant, a visitor centre, gift shop, beach concession, picnic areas and if it should be pet friendly.

The survey also asks participants to rate possible uses in order of importance, including research and educational centres, weddings and events.

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The Royal Gazette, March 24, 2022