New children’s play area takes shape as centre-piece planted

Asghar Abbas (right) (parks and countryside team member)  plants a tree at Ward Jackson park as David Jackson (countryside assistant Hartlepool Borough council) gives a helping hand as fellow Parks and Countryside team members look on.

Asghar Abbas (right) (parks and countryside team member) plants a tree at Ward Jackson park as David Jackson (countryside assistant Hartlepool Borough council) gives a helping hand as fellow Parks and Countryside team members look on.

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A PARK’S new play area is starting to take shape thanks to a horticultural centre-piece.

The Friends of Ward Jackson Park group was delighted to welcome the weeping willow tree to its new play area for smaller children on the old putting green.

Volunteers from Hartlepool Borough Council’s parks and countryside team were on hand to plant the tree for the group.

Chairwoman of the group Jane Rollo said it is hoped that once the tree starts to grow, it will create a cave-like area for youngsters with pathways made from bark and chopped logs leading up to it.

The new play area will hopefully be ready for tots by Easter next year.

Jane said: “The parks and countryside team do a lot of work in the park, and we meet a lot with a woman called Deborah Jefferson, who runs the team.

“She comes to our meetings and asked us what we could do on the old putting green.

“That’s where the idea of the new play area came from.”

She added: “It had to be separated from the bowling club, so they’ve put a temporary fence up around the bowls green and planted prickly bushes which will eventually form a hedge. Once that has grown the fence will be taken down.

“Then we were given a lot of bark chippings by the team and made an area in the centre of what will be the new play area and it will be a natural area for little children.

“We wanted a tree in the middle that will eventually become a cave for them to play in – it’s a weeping cherry tree and is quite a mature tree standing at around 12ft.

“ We paid for the tree the team planted it for us.”

The Friends of Ward Jackson Park has also bought a spruce tree – a fir tree with long pine needles, which will be decorated at Christmas time each year. It is currently about 7ft high and is situated at the bandstand.