Playing fields revamp

Volunteers help to refurbish Backwell Playing Fields and repair well-used equipment

BACKWELL Playing fields is being given a massive overhaul thanks to a team of generous volunteers.

More than 20 people having been giving up their spare time to paint the equipment and seating, pick up litter, remove old equipment and trim the hedges and grass.

The dedicated team has been working for several weeks to tidy up the amenity and it is hoped the refurbishment will be completed by the end of July.

Michael Pratt, chairman of Backwell Playing Fields Charity, said: “We are holding a refurbishment drive at the playing fields and a lot of equipment is being brought back up to standard.

“We are very grateful to the volunteers. I’m very much looking forward to the finished product.”

The old rocking horse and a jungle gym climbing frame have been removed from the park due to their poor condition and the charity is hoping to replace the equipment in the future.

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The charity is self-funded and run by volunteers and relies on the skills of villagers and volunteers to help maintain equipment and amenities.

Backwell Parish Council has also given the charity a �2,000 grant to paint the three youth buildings in the playing fields.

Eight people from the Community Payback Scheme will be helping to paint the buildings over the next two weekends.

Mr Pratt said: “The buildings are starting to look shabby and the paint will add considerable life to the buildings as well.

“We’re using weather-proof paint and we’ve also done roof repairs to improve the building.”

Mr Pratt has been given extensive advice by Clifton Paints in Bristol on how to paint the many different surfaces on the building. He also paid tribute to new trustee Anne Morley who has been a great help organising volunteers.

The charity has now set its sights on the playing fields car park and the old toilet block, which has been boarded up since North Somerset Council closed it three years ago.

He said: “If you come into Backwell the first thing you see is the poor quality pot-holed car park and the closed toilet. It needs some capital investment. It represents the village so badly.

“There are people from the village who do lots of work to keep the area looking tidy, but the parish council now needs to invest in the field.”

North somerset Council has scheduled the old toilet block for auction on July 20.