The revamped Blythe Bridge Recreation Ground in Uttoxeter Road was officially opened on Wednesday, September 25, by chairman of Forsbrook Parish Council councillor Gill Burton, with the support of Blythe Bridge High School's 20 piece Jazz band.
Tesco in Meir Park also supported the event by donating free fresh cream scones and fruit cakes.
The work which included the installation of new play equipment, BMX track and Jubilee Gardens was carried out after Forsbrook Parish Council was successful in being awarded £24,493 towards a total anticipated project cost of £30,616 for the purchase of an area of scrubland, which borders the existing recreation/play area, from Blythe Bridge and Forsbrook Village Hall in Uttoxeter Road.
The reclamation of the scrubland had the two-fold effect of improving an area of waste land and creating an area of natural beauty with seats and gravel walkway, which can be appreciated by all ages within the community.
The Parish Council worked in partnership with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust to ensure that any work undertaken protects the existing trees and natural habitat for wildlife. Work commenced on clearing the scrubland on February 27.
Necessary tree work following a risk assessment and installation of gravel path and seating has been carried out, together with the creation of wild flower beds.
Adjacent to the scrubland is a play area, part of which is fenced in for the under five-year-olds with play equipment presently consisting of a turnstile, rocking/ swaying elephant, climbing frame and bo-peep multi activity centre. Outside of the fenced in play area there is equipment for the five to 16 age range and this timber equipment consists of a zip wire, obstacle course and climbing mast.
As part of this funding opportunity additional play equipment for the under five age group - cradle swing - and five to 18 age group - team swing - has been installed and a BMX track was installed in December completing the project.
The play equipment was identified as a need in the community following consultation for the Parish Plan and verbal conversations with the youth with regard to their aspirations. Forsbrook Parish Council also allocated funding to provide adult exercise equipment so that there is something for every age group.
The money has been given by the Communities Mean Business LEADER programme which forms part of the Regional Development Programme for England (RDPE), managed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).