A recruitment “coup” sees the former manager of the London Eye come to manage one of the county’s leading tourist attractions.

Nicola Ratcliffe will become chief executive of Willows Activity Farm in Coursers Road at the end of this month.

The tourism executive has also held high positions at Chessington World of Adventures and the London Dungeon.

She said: “I’m really looking forward to joining the team and getting to know everyone who works hard to make Willows such a great day out for young families.

“With over 25 years in the industry, and a young family myself, I know what the key ingredients are to make leisure attractions a must-visit destination.

“Willows Activity Farm and the Peter Rabbit™ Adventure Playground are already popular with families and I want to build on that success to take the business forward.”

This comes as current chief executive and founder Andrew Wolfe is set to retire from the post.

Mr Wolfe set up the farm in 2002 with his wife Anna and other shareholders, and will remain on the board after his retirement.

He said: “Nicola’s talent and industry experience are second to none and will be a huge asset to Willows.

“Nicola’s appointment is a real coup for Willows and we’re thrilled to have her on board to continue the success story we have built up over the last 15 years.”

The park expanded in 2016 to include the world’s first Peter Rabbit™ adventure playground and has won several top awards from the tourism industry and is visited by hundreds of thousands of people every year.