Children’s Play Area and MUGA Update: March 2022

In 2021 Parracombe Community Trust (PCT) took responsibility for managing the Coronation Playing Field along with the children’s play area and MUGA (multi use games area).

Parracombe Parish Council, which was previously responsible for these amenities initially donated money to the Community Trust for the upkeep of the play area. However the Council later re-considered and decided that a more pressing need was to support the development of Parracombe Pavilion community stores and café, which will be opening this spring.

During 2021, volunteers from the Trust carried out remedial work to allow limited use of the play area to continue safely and prolong the life of the equipment. However in March 2022 that equipment is due its annual safety inspection by RoSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) and as a community we will need to address any issues identified.

Although the slide support frame and steps might look fine from a distance, close inspection shows that these are suffering from severe rust – the result of being exposed to the Exmoor weather for some two decades.

The attached photos illustrate the problem. The structure is unsafe and needs to be removed pending repair of the framework and steps. This will be expensive and will have to wait until funds are available. Meanwhile the slide itself is in excellent condition and will be securely stored in the village.

In the medium term, the Trust hopes to secure a grant for completely new play equipment in the same general area of the playing field (see below). But successful grant applications take time and we need to keep some play equipment functioning.

With that in mind, and depending on RoSPA’s view, we aim to install a wood chippings ‘soft fall’ area to a depth of 15cm around the main timber play structure. This work will be undertaken by Trust volunteers. Materials costs are estimated at around £2,100. Chippings have been highlighted in previous RoSPA reports as a required safety measure

Medium term – 18 months – 2 years

The future of a completely new play area is very much for the community to decide. What will it look like? What play equipment will be best? Could there be new facilities which will encourage everyone, young and old, to use it.

Realistically, Trust volunteers and working groups are focussing on getting the community shop and café, and village hall, up and running. However now is the time to start thinking about the future of the play area. It would be good to start conversations within our local community for ideas to grow.

The costs of any upgrade or replacement equipment will have to covered by fund raising and grants – key factors in how quickly a new play area can be created.

Over the next few months, the PCT will be actively looking for ideas and suggestions from everyone in our community who wants to be involved? If you’d like to register your interest, or have any thoughts on the kind of play area we need, please email our secretary Nick Constable at secretary@parracombe.org.uk

In the meantime, thanks for your patience.

Nick Constable, Parracombe Community Trust Management Committee, March 2022

Severe rust on play area slide
Further examples of rust on play area slide

The MUGA (multi-use-games-area)

Parracombe Community Trust are delighted to announce that the tennis court / multi-use-games-area (MUGA) on the Coronation Playing Field is now fully up and running again. A large number of volunteers spent time in all weathers to reinstate the boarding surround making the area safe and suitable for multiple uses by all ages. It is very much hoped that the school will be able to start using the area again now that it is safe to do so.

As you can see from the photos below, the new MUGA was “Christened” by a super fun game of walking football on Sunday 6th February, when 22 people of all ages took part.

Huge thanks must go to Brian Dallyn and his QuarryFest team for donating £700 towards the cost of materials, and also to North Devon Council for a grant of £400 which made up the difference in terms of materials cost.

Harry Harrison, Parracombe Community Trust Management Committee, March 2022

Local community enjoying walking football
Essential repairs to the MUGA
Walking football takes place most Sundays at 10am – check the Parracombe Community News Facebook group for updates
The MUGA

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