A FORMER teacher who has turned his vision of transforming a tranquil nature spot into a glamping and activity centre has said the sleepless nights were all worth it.

Ian and Sarah Williams have been working hard on opening Constable Park in Bergholt Road, Brantham, since they conjured up the plan five years ago.

They will open its doors in phases this summer, with kayak and paddleboard hire being first made available during the weekend gone.

Such has been his commitment to the cause, Mr Williams has spent every day since March 8 last year working on his vision for the site.

“People often ask me ‘what made you do this?’,” he said, “It’s been a long, tough journey.

“I’ve been running gold Duke of Edinburgh trips for ten years or more and before that I was working with schools doing outdoor adventure activities.

“Having a bit of grass next to the river where you can pull up with your canoe was what I had been looking for for a long time.

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“Instead of me being 60 and retiring, what’s happened is we are now fully invested in this to make it work.

“We hope the site will be a weekend escape for Londoners or a holiday break for people from Holland.”

The couple will finally bear the fruits of their labour when the glamping and cabins open in July, and the cafe next month - if all goes to plan.

They were supported by a Royal Development Grant worth £124,000 to help fund the site, which is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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But it’s not all been straightforward, however. Last November, burglars smashed several doors and windows and made off with goods worth £4,000.

The cost to replace the glass also came to an eye-watering sum of £7,000.

Since the incident, Mr Williams has spent every night at the site to ensure its security.

He added: “I couldn’t be driving in everyday wondering what I am going to arrive to.

“There wasn’t any power in January, which meant it was very cold. By 4pm some days I couldn’t even see the numbers on my tape measure.

You can search Constable Park on Facebook for more details on how to visit.