Community breaths new life into park

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(Last Updated On: July 26, 2016)

This week a groups of residents living in the South Hams Town of Modbury came together to celebrate the work that they had done to bring a disused park back to life.

The Champernowne Park Project is a project that has been spearheaded by the residents living around the Champernowne area of Modbury and fully supported by South Hams District Councillor for the area Cllr Lindsay Ward and DCH Community Development Worker for South Hams and Torbay, Charlotte Grosvenor.

Local resident Lucia Ash said: “This park was derelict, grass knee high, rusting play equipment and a sign on the gate saying closed. This project is about making this space usable again. We have lots of young kids who can now come here and play safely and thanks to the Council and DCH, we now have a bench and some seating so grandparents can sit and watch them play. Everyone has been fantastic, this has been a real community project with everyone pulling together. Now we need to raise money for some play equipment and we have loads of ideas for charity events that can help us do this.”

South Hams District Council and DCH have been helping the residents of Champernowne to co-ordinate a steering group for the project and plan the events. This week they all come together in the sunshine to mark another milestone in the project: the completion of phase two.

The first phase saw the park area brought back to a basic level of use and it gave the residents the impetus to go further. Following training provided by the Community Voluntary Services two of the steering group applied for funding from the District Council’s Big Green pace Challenge scheme, which is run with funding from the Langage Landscape Fund, provided by Centrica. The scheme gives the green light to projects which empower residents to improve their greenspaces with community efforts. The bid was successful and has paid for new plants and furniture for the park.
Another resident on the steering group designed the plantings aided by landscape officers at the district council and has worked with DCH to dig them in.

Charlotte Grovenor DCH Community Development Worker: “Everything has been thought through so carefully. The residents presented the Council with a proper planting scheme and with the limited funds they had, they chose species that would work in this space. They have also left all of the labels on the plants so that the children can see what they have planted and take an interest.”

Cllr Lindsay Ward, Ward member for the area said: “I am so proud of the residents, they have come together and with a little bit of help from us have achieved a wonderful space. And best of all this is just phase two, they now plan to raise money for play equipment. This is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when a community pulls together.

“The project has been an amazing example of good team work of people from different organisations coming together with local residents and parish councillors to make yet another nice corner in this town. We have had a lot of fun and developed new skills and friendships putting this together”

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The aim of the project is to provide a place where people of all ages can enjoy the outdoors together contributing to wellbeing, health and community.

Modbury Association for Recreation and Sport has also received a Big Greenspace Challenge Grant. This has allowed them to develop a new garden of remembrance, plant additional fruit trees in their orchard area, plant a new conservation hedge and build a new rammed earth amphitheatre.

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Team account for We Are South Devon.