A campaign to provide Hemyock with a children's play area that started 15 years ago has finally come to fruition. Jayne McLintock, who founded the Pumpkins Playpark committee in 1992, officially presented the new timber playground to the Village on Saturday, July 7.
The wooden park, built by Brookridge Timber, consists of monkey bars, slides, a climbing wall, climbing ropes, and a high-level walkway that leads to a hut. Julie Steed, secretary of the Longmead Management Group, said: "Around 30 people turned up for the opening. Both children and adults. It was a very pleasant occasion and the sun shone too.
"A group of local parents set up a group and raised a lot of money in the nineties. Once land became available it all happened."
The Pumpkins Playpark committee raised around £10,000 between 1992 and 1998. The group of mothers decided the village was in need of a "safe, clean play park with imaginative equipment."
The committee were able to generate the funds by organising various coffee mornings, a float for the Hemyock Carnival, an auction of promises and a Burns' Supper among other events.
Jayne McLintock, founder of the play park committee said: "With new housing development in the village, our little pot of money was able to be used successfully to attract additional matched funding in order for the play park to be built for the children behind station road."
The play area is available for children of all ages and construction was complete at Easter. The £40,000 project also includes two new football pitches and three new tennis courts. A picnic area and a flood-lit multi-use games area are also hoped to be complete by the autumn.
Mrs Steed said: "It is a lovely setting down there and it is a wonderful facility for this area of the Blackdowns."
Much of the matched funding was provided by DEFRA's Regional Development Service.
The group of mothers who make up the Pumpkins Playpark committee are: Sally Cartledge, Elaine Morrissey, Caroline Pinder, Rosemary Balchin, Trudi Banfield, Alison Robson, Linda Noble and Debbie Matthews.