New lease of life for play area near Lancaster

A play area in Carnforth has had a new lease of life – with a little help from its Friends

By Gayle Rouncivell
Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 4:55 am

Saturday saw the official opening of the new play park and woodland trail at Crag Bank Park, nearly two years ago a team of neighbours came together to raise funds to revamp a tired, old and little used play area.

Their hard work and endless fundraising have really paid off with more than £65,000 being raised.

Stef Gray and the public realm team at Lancaster City Council provided advice and support throughout including installation of the equipment for the new play area, which is now a fantastic facility for children of all ages to play on.

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Youngsters enjoy the new play area.

There's also new picnic benches and seating for mums and dads so that they can watch their little ones play on a wide range of new and challenging equipment.

In the early days of the project an online survey sought the views of neighbours and users to ascertain exactly what they wanted to see in the park. Seating, tables, swings, climbing frames and interesting and challenging equipment for the kids featured highly - and if you check out the park now, you will see that these aspirations have been delivered!

But it’s not all about play equipment - last November, 14 fruit trees were planted, which should produce a fantastic community orchard in a few years’ time.

A hedgerow has also been established with the support of The Woodland Trust and more than a dozen bird boxes have been installed throughout the park area. At the same time, Lancaster City Council planted more than 1,500 bulbs which, in the months and years to come, should flourish into a spectacular floral meadow.

Youngsters enjoy the new play area.

Carnforth town councillor and Crag Bank resident Steve Watson has been the driving force behind the project, which can be a challenge at any time, but events over the past couple of years made fundraising and progress that little more difficult.

The project has succeeded through the determination and tireless efforts of the Friends of Crag Bank Play Area, including Gemma Wilson, who was instrumental in driving funding applications, running raffles, and generating many ideas to raise funds.

Dan Taylor ran focus groups and provided many designs which assisted in achieving the end result and Andrew Kitchen, Michelle Holden and Terry and Antonia Allum have all chipped in with help, ideas and support.

These friends have given up hours of their time for the benefit of others and the wider community.

The opening of the new Crag Bank play area.

In his speech before the opening of the new facility, Coun Watson thanked the many benefactors who have helped to fund the project, including Coun Kath Bromilow, Carnforth Town Council, The Lancashire Environmental Fund, The People’s Postcode Lottery, Sodexo, Tesco, Carnforth Rotary, and every neighbour who donated along the way.

Special thanks went to Coun Paul Turner, who made and sold more than 50 carved reindeers - many of which can be seen in gardens in Crag Bank - with much of the proceeds going towards the park fund.

Following an online draw, three young residents were drawn to lead on the opening ceremony. They were Tommy and Archie, who held the ribbon, and Daniel, who has given the honour of cutting the ribbon and officially opening the park.

The new Crag Bank play area.
Andrew Kitchen, Coun Steve Watson from Carnforth Town Council and Stef Gray from Lancaster City Council.
The new Crag Bank play area.