AN INTERACTIVE splash park for children, with water-spitting dragons and flowers, opens at Coate Water Country Park today.

The opening of the £120,000 park was delayed from the planned Easter date because of drought restrictions.

Now these have been lifted, the splash park – which has been built on the site of the former paddling pool at Coate – is ready to go and will officially open to the public at midday.

The centrepiece of the design is a dragon which fires water from its mouth and tail.

The feature also has giant flowers which spray water, and water jets which fire up from the base of the park to form tunnels.

For smaller children there is an area where more gentle sprays create mist which form rainbows in sunlight.

Coun Fionuala Foley, Swindon Council cabinet member for StreetSmart, which includes responsibility for parks and play areas, said: “I’m pleased we can get the splash park up and running for the summer holidays.

“We were worried that the drought would prevent us from being able to open it at all this year.

“Now all we need is some decent weather.”

The launch of the park had been postponed indefinitely due to the hosepipe ban.

The feature, which will be free to use, will replace the dilapidated paddling pool.

Another advantage is the current staffing associated with the paddling pool will no longer be required, meaning the project will deliver a saving of £20,000 a year and cover its costs in six years.

A programme of work at Coate Water, including the new installation, began last year and is scheduled for completion in 2014.