Much has been happening to the play areas in Kidmore End and Gallowstree Common since the last issue of the newsletter. For those of you who have been following the fund raising efforts of our Parish Council chairman, Sue Biggs, you will know that Sue has managed to nearly reach the grand total needed for the projects.

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She has managed to reduce the quote supplied by Playdale and out-sourced some of the jobs to others in the parish which will make the promised funds go further. This means that the children and young people in the parish can look forward to a new look play area in Kidmore End, where the remaining bark pits are being replaced with safety-lock surface and turf.

A more exciting project has been taking place at the play area in Gallowstree Common, where the old platform is being replaced by a wonderful new climbing and play structure which will bring excitement and lots of pleasure to everyone.

All of this sounds like a fairly easy project to coordinate, but it has been far from straight forward. Local contractors offered to remove the bark from the play areas in Kidmore End and Gallowstree Common. They arrived with spades, quickly realised that the job needed more fire power and a dumper truck was hired. It soon became apparent that more heavy duty equipment was required, so a mini digger and large front loader were seconded to help. In the end, man and machine managed to move the bark out of the pits, ready for the arrival of Playdale at the start of June.

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Once Playdale have finished building the new climbing frame, they will leave the bark pits ready to be filled and reseeded. Teams of volunteers in Gallowstree Common and

Kidmore End are ready to water these reseeded areas so that the new turf gets established, then Playdale will return to fit the safety lock surface under the swings and new climbing frame.

If all goes to plan, there will be a grand reopening of both play areas in July. You can follow this project on our website, and see lots of pictures.

Don’t forget that there is lots of composted bark free for you to take away for your gardens/allotments. You can find the bark in a large pile at Kidmore End and in the car park at Gallowstree Common (and another pile behind the Pavilion, and some more bark further along in the recreation field when the previous piles have gone).

All the work carried out in the play areas relies on community support. We would not be able to
replace the old equipment without the support of children, young people and parishioners, who were involved in deciding what sort of equipment should replace the old platform, the support of neighbours and volunteers, the support of local businesses and contractors, and people who have given services for free or just charged for their costs.

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We are very grateful for your support, and know that the upgraded play areas will provide an important focus for people to meet and play in Kidmore End and Gallowstree Common.