The council is proposing to extend the existing eco-area to include more of the park in the vicinity of the old lower play area. We do not have any plans which show the extent of the extension, nor have we seen any impressions which give some guide to its appearance. On the map showing the location of the new developments on the park a rough area is shown which represents the area we think will be included. The map can be viewed here.
The most significant change will be the closure and removal of the old lower play area. All the equipment will go, and the railings and other features which define that area will be removed. This was the site which we had planned for the installation of the activity area for young people, now to be moved further along the coach drive.
Following discussions the council agreed to install additional play equipment on the nearby newer play area in the community field before the old play area is finally closed. It also agreed to post notices at the old play area explaining why it is to be closed, which would also direct people to the newer play area. There is now very little equipment left on the old play area and, in effect, it is very nearly closed. It is to be hoped that the agreed additional equipment on the newer area is installed soon, before the final closure of the old one, and that notices are posted before the closure occurs.
In addition, further discussions about the eco-area extension identified the need to take steps to improve the existing eco-area before beginning to extend it. Of particular concern is the condition of the pond which dries out in the summer, tends to flood in the winter, is clogged with invasive weed which prevents colonisation by other plants or animals, and generally looks unattractive as a feature on the park. Yet this is the most important feature of the eco-area. A source of water is the key to promoting bio-diversity and encouraging wild-life to flourish. The council agreed to improve the existing eco-area, particularly the pond, before any extension work takes place.