FAMILIES are being invited to the opening a new outdoor play area in the New Forest.

Tree forts and a giant wooden sand lizard are among the new attractions at the recreation ground in Whartons Lane, Ashurst.

An opening ceremony will take place next Wednesday 2pm.

It follows the completion of two play areas created by the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) at Holbury Manor in Holbury and Stanford Rise Green in Sway.

Claire Pearce, a play officer employed by the NPA said: "I'm looking forward to officially opening our third wild play site at Ashurst Recreation Ground.

"Working with Ashurst and Colbury Parish Council has been fantastic and I believe we have created an amazing play space for families to explore.

"Encouraging children to spend more time playing outside in a natural environment is important, not only to inspire them to care for nature but also to help improve their physical and mental wellbeing.

"I hope the space will be enjoyed by the local community for many years to come."

Parish clerk Helen Klaassen added: "The parish council are really excited to introduce a whole new level of play opportunity we are sure will delight and inspire children for many years to come."