Graham Ross, Secretary of the Gloucestershire Playing Fields Association, writes about a local playing field project that has been a great success.
The village of Teddington is situated north of Bishops Cleeve just off the main A435 road from Cheltenham to Evesham. Up until 1990 the village didn’t have any recreation facilities but with the generosity of a local landowner plus a Gloucestershire Playing Fields Association (GPFA) grant, a playing field called Orchard Park was established.
Orchard Park is a delightful open space on the edge of the village with room for informal play, a pair of small goalposts and an equipped play area at the far end. However, after nearly 25 years some of the timber play equipment was reaching the end of its life and the field was being under utilised.
In February 2014 a group of local residents came together in partnership with the Parish Council with the aim of revamping the playing field and make it more accessible for all ages. After consulting with local residents the group came up with a plan to improve Orchard Park which included
- A new access path all the way round the field to make it easier to reach the play equipment and create a walkway plus a safe cycle path for youngsters.
- Improvements to the play area to include a tower unit and zip wire and retaining the existing swings and other equipment
- Planting to make the field visually attractive
- New seating and picnic benches
- A boules court
The group held a number of fundraising events including on the field which really helped to bring the village together. Successful funding applications were made to Gloucestershire County Council Active Together Fund and Awards for All. The Gloucestershire Playing Fields Association also gave a grant of £2000 and provided technical advice and support for funding applications In a short space of time the group was able to raise over £25,000. On the 6th July a grand opening was held of the revamped Orchard Park. The playing field has been totally transformed and is used by all ages.
Of interest is the use of old rubber tyres which will be used as the planters, a great idea. Also the picnic tables and benches were sourced from the Scottish Prison Service who offer an attractive range at competitive prices
This is yet another great example of how local people can come together and make a real difference to the facilities in their village. Congratulations to all involved.
If you have a project for your open space in Gloucestershire then see how the GPFA can help