New football nets were bought.
Atherington Parish Council generously donated £3000 towards improvements to the Playing Field and Barclays Spaces for Sports gave £25,000 towards the leveling the existing Football Pitch and building a new Multisports Area – with a further £20,000 to be available over the next few years for equipment, coaching and administration.
Clearing of the rough area was carried out by volunteers before construction of the multi-sports hard court.
The lower edge of the perimeter fence replaced and the pavilion and swings repainted/coated.
The sale of a small piece of land to Western Power for the positioning of a transformer enabled the committee to pay for electricity and water to be connected to the pavilion at an advantageous cost.
· New worktops in kitchen area of pavilion
· Water heater installed
· Outside standard lights
· Moving turfs
· Removing top soil
· Levelling of the football pitch
· Then replacing top soil and re-turfing
and the new Multisports area was built
Plant/bulb planting carried out around the Multi-sports area.
Sports equipment bought and our neighbouring village, High Bickingon, kindly donated money from their Community Fund to buy a net for the tennis court
Two inexpensive marquees were bought.
Devon Football Association gave a 50/50 donation towards new football posts.
Throughout this period there have also been ongoing costs involved with the upkeep and general maintenance of the equipment, fencing and gates.
A lot of the manpower supplied over the last forty years, but particularly over the last few years has been volunteered by a small group of retired people, some of whom are parents of the original children. Likewise some of those children are now parents of their own young families… who in turn are using the playing field.
In 2008 a wooden play system was very kindly donated by Domleo and Partners, and moved from a site in Umberleigh to Atherington.
North Devon District Council kindly donated £500 towards the transportation costs. The equipment was dismantled in Umberleigh and rebuilt in the Atherington playing field with the help of local people from both villages, who gave their time freely
A number of years ago, the old seesaw, which had provided hours of fun for the village children, had been removed for safety reasons. This had left a void in the equipment which ideally needed to be filled. Using part of a £15000 grant from Devon Waste Management a new springie was purchased; the swings were refurbished and safety matting was fitted to all the equipment.
The springie provides fun for a wide age range. Children from 2 years old to 16 years old can rock on it on their own, or in groups. It has been a very popular addition to the playing field.
The swings which were originally bought in 1971, were inspected by Wicksteed who found that although the framework and chains were still in good order, the swing seats needed to be replaced.
With the generous gift from Devon Waste Management, Atherington Children’s Playing Field were able to replace the old swing seats with
· two new flat seats
· one new cradle seat
· one swing suitable for a disabled child
Current safety standards recommend safety matting for playground equipment over a certain height. As well as conforming to current safety standards, it was decided to purchase matting which would be aesthetically appropriate to the area and easy to repair if necessary.
Pre-formed rubber honeycombed matting was fitted under the equipment. This type of safety matting allows the grass to grow through, giving the area a natural appearance whilst remaining safe to play on. It was professionally fitted in preformed squares, which are clipped together and can be individually replaced if necessary. The matting conforms to the safety standard BS EN 1177
Photo taken October 2009 with the grass now growing through honeycombed safety matting
A quote extracted from the audit of Atherington Children’s Playing Field by Devon Playing Fields Association in January 2009:
“This is a very encouraging play area. The site consists of an area of play equipment for young people, a football pitch, a MUGA and around the edges of the site there is scope for natural play. Significant improvements have been made to create an all age recreation area.
A local group of residents are, and have been working very hard to make these improvements happen.” (21st January 2009)