Mums join forces to transform rundown Gargrave playground

Launching a campaign to improve Gargrave play area are mums Gemma Tetley, left, and Sarah Pawson with Vincent and Poppy Tetley

Launching a campaign to improve Gargrave play area are mums Gemma Tetley, left, and Sarah Pawson with Vincent and Poppy Tetley

First published in News

Mums have joined forces in a campaign to transform a rundown village playground.

Their ambition is to rid Gargrave play area of its outdated equipment – some of which has already been condemned and removed – and replace it with more modern apparatus.

They aim to turn part of the area into a haven for wildlife, with bird boxes and new planting to include fruit trees.

Leading the crusade is mum-of-two Sarah Pawson, who is backed by friends and mums, including Gemma Tetley, and parish council clerk Helen Carruthers.

Sarah said: “I noticed the bombshell state of the playground when I started to take my son Harvey there. I knew people were unhappy about it, so I thought ‘don’t just moan, we should do something’.”

Last October the Gargrave Playground Association was set up. Some funds have already been raised and quotes are being sought for the cost of the project, Sarah said.

“We need three quotes to apply for lottery help. We’re also looking for help from Yorventure, North Yorkshire County Council and the Duke of Devonshire Charitable Trust,” she said.

“We want to see the place redesigned to use the space more effectively, make it more interesting and creative.

“Gemma is looking at the possibility of conserving and encouraging wildlife, so we want to see bird boxes, plants and fruit trees.

“We want a place where families want to come because of what it has to offer.

“I know of so many mums who take their children to other village playgrounds in the area because Gargrave isn’t good enough.”

They plan to hold an open evening to which the parish council and residents will be invited to get details of the costs involved and how the area would look.

Meanwhile, the group has set up a Facebook page where people are being encouraged to make suggestions and get involved.

“This is a really exciting time. We may have started this but it is for the village and we want people to get enthusiastic,” Sarah said.

The state of the playground has already sparked conflict within the parish council, which came to a head last summer. Council minutes refer to a “very heated discussion taking place”.

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