New play equipment for children at Gittisham

PUBLISHED: 07:01 06 December 2019

Youngsters try out the latest piece of play equipment at Gittisham Park. Picture GPC

Youngsters try out the latest piece of play equipment at Gittisham Park. Picture GPC


Children in Gittisham now have more equipment to play on in the village park, thanks to a successful bid to the National Lottery Community Fund.

A grant of £10,000 has enabled the parish council to purchase two new items, bringing the total to seven.

Children now have the opportunity to climb a tower, with a four-metre slide taking them down to the ground. The latest item to be installed is a rolling balance beam.

Cllr Carol Hall, who has spearheaded the redevelopment of the play area since 2010, said: "It's wonderful to see children of all ages in the village using the new equipment.

"It fulfills a long-held desire by the parish council to buy items with a broad appeal, which wasn't possible for many years because of a shortfall in funding.

"Thanks to National Lottery players, our village play area is looking complete, with something for everyone.

"We've also developed the upper part of the play area, combining the new play items with fruit trees, bird and bug boxes to encourage wildlife and biodiversity."

Support for the environmental project, which also includes wild flowers and plants, has come from the East Devon AONB's sustainable development fund.

The idea behind this part of Gittisham's play area was to increase biodiversity in an area that was previously grazing pasture, encourage community engagement, make use of local suppliers and promote a greater understanding of sustainability principles.

The play area land was leased to the parish council by the Combe Estate in 2011. Over the intervening years the equipment has been upgraded, with funding from Devon County Council, the parish council, parishioners and those with a historic link to Gittisham.

As part of its role to enhance the community, Gittisham Parish Council has also purchased new picnic benches for the play area and a bench this summer.

The parish - which includes Gittisham Vale on the edge of Honiton - is now home to two defibrillators, installed after a successful fundraising campaign and financial support from East Devon District Council's Parishes Together Scheme.

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