Innovative plans for new community space at Easebourne unveiled

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A ground breaking scheme to provide innovative recreational facilities for all ages at Easebourne has been unveiled to villagers.

The initial plans for the Wheelbarrow Castle school playing field were outlined at the parish council’s annual village meeting.

They include two natural play dens consisting of tree trunks, a pond, an open space for playing football and other ball games, a system of pathways and play trails, traditional slides, trampoline and swings and a ‘wifi shelter’.

Parish council chairman Holly Grantham told villagers after four years of negotiations the council had finally signed a 25 year lease for the field with West Sussex County Council last year.

She said relocating the playground from its position on the edge of Easebourne had been a priority: “The lease was up and quite a lot of the play equipment had come to the end of its life. The play ground will be moved to the playing field. We have also produced a plan for the rest of the field to create community space for young and old to share.

“It has not been straight forward to get to this point.

“We have had to do an enormous amount of research.

“We have run a competition with Easebourne Primary School children who have come up with ideas and we have spoken to contractors.”

She said parish councillors had come up with an initial design in talks with a natural play ground specialist Lawrence Trowbridge of Wildwood UK.

Presenting his design Mr Trowbridge said he specialised in ‘connecting people to nature’ adding “I think we have come up with an exciting opportunity for the community to engage children with nature through natural play.”

The dens would be an arrangement of tree trunks allowing them to use their imagination to play and wildlife to thrive and be discovered by the youngsters.

He said the dens had been safety approved by Rospa.

In addition he planned natural adventure trails, paths and wildlife planting areas.

The scheme will now go out for consultation including talks with the primary school.

Holly said grant funding would be critical as well as fund raising in the village. The parish council had also been earmarking funds.

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