Swalcliffe village now has its first public picnic and play space thanks to Swalcliffe Park School and a group of determined residents.
The new Woodland Play and Picnic Area was opened yesterday, March 12, by the Chair of Swalcliffe Parish Council, Neil Urquhart, in less than ideal weather conditions.
The result of a four-year community-driven project which started with Swalcliffe Park School generously leasing some of their land for the park, followed by the process of gaining planning permission and securing funding from local stakeholders including Cherwell District Council’s Community Infrastructure Capital Funding programme which provided a grant for £14,200.
Located in the heart of the village it provides a unique opportunity for children to play, learn and enjoy the rich biodiversity of native woodland.
It has also been designed to arouse curiosity in the natural environment and encourage kids to explore the wildlife all around them.
The woodland park also provides a quiet space for older members of the community to sit and enjoy the natural surroundings.
Cllr Andrew McHugh, CDC lead member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “This is all about making communities better and healthier places in which to live for residents of all ages.
“If you know of a great community project that is struggling with set-up costs, contact the Council and we will see if we can help.”
Peter Beddowes, chairman of Swalcliffe Woodland Play Park Committee said: “Over 100 playgrounds are being closed every year and we are very proud to have done our bit to reverse that trend and create something that will provide a magical experience for the children, especially in the summer.
He added: “It’s our stake in the ground to show that it is possible to build and run green spaces for the benefit of the community.”
For more information about the Woodland Play and Picnic Area visit www.swalcliffevillage.co.uk.