Playing the field

charnockEB''Charnock park transformed - after
charnockEB''Charnock park transformed - after

DEDICATED volunteers have transformed a ‘bomb site’ into a popular park.

The Friends of Charnock Recreation Grounds was formed six years ago and has raised £215,000 to overhaul the site in an impressive regeneration.

When they began their quest the land, on Carter Hall Lane, was used by anti-social teens to burn wheelie bins and drink. The only attractions were a set of broken swings and a dilapidated climbing frame.

But now youngsters can enjoy a zip wire, fitness fans train on a running track and there is wheelchair- accessible play equipment.

And the project has been completed with a beautiful wild flower garden, orchards and picnic area.

Group spokesman and fundraiser Ken Wain – whose daughter Tracey Wilson started the group with friends – said the park had gone from a ‘bomb site’ where parents were reluctant to take children to a ‘treasured commodity’.

He added: “It has made a hell of a difference. It’s not just a playground, everybody can use it.

“The children come out of Charnock Hall primary every day and go straight in the park with their families, there are often more than 100 people on there.”

Once formed the group held consultation on what people wanted and were helped by a raft of firms, teachers and residents.

Fundraising collected cash and donations came in – including £17,000 from Viridor Waste Management Company and a £50,000 Playbuilder grant from Sheffield Council.

The fitness circuit, which includes a track and gym equipment, was paid for by the National Lottery Changing Spaces project. A coveted Green Flag award has been given to the park and hopes are high the group could win a plaudit from the Queen.

Ken added: “It’s wonderful to see it like this when we’ve put all the hard work into it.

“When you see people enjoying it that gives you the strength to carry on with the next phase.”

Ex-world champion boxer Johnny Nelson and former sports minister Richard Caborn are lending their support to the park’s official launch next Saturday, May 5 from 12.30pm until 4.30pm.

There will also be community stalls, activities and family fun.