April 2018: Fishponds Mum

March 29 2018

Swing into action in support of park

WHILE there are a variety of playgrounds for children in Fishponds, Oldbury Court and Eastville Park, some of them are looking rather tired and I for one have been fearing the impact of council cuts on public spaces and what it might do to our children’s safe spaces. 

A playground is such a quick, easy win. We visit our local playground every week, without fail, come rain or shine, as do countless others and they really matter to lots of families. Not only is it free, it encourages outdoor free flowing play, early socialisation and blends communities together. Most people with small children, knackered and penniless, visit the playground; it’s a great way to get to know your neighbours and the local community. I often find myself sharing stories to a random parent in the park at 9.15am, as the commuter traffic is slowing and the birds are singing. It’s a great way to connect with people.

The playground in Fishponds Park, next to St. Mary’s, certainly needs refreshing. After the success of events held in the park to celebrate Fishponds, this space has been somewhat reclaimed and is regularly used by parents taking their children there. It’s served the community steadily for years. Whilst it’s a small playground, it provides some welcome relief post-local shop for slightly bored little ones. 

Great news then that the Friends of Fishponds Park have begun a campaign, with designs to improve and develop it. With the backing of Bristol City Council, the modernisation of the play area is about to begin.

Brian Smith, group chairman, said: “The first phase will be the relocation of the fence, which will accommodate the new design, giving more space for the play area.” 

Friends of Fishponds Park, who are actively raising funds, are pleased that the work is finally commencing and estimate that the total cost of completing the new play area is £100,000. Already £60,000 has been secured from Council Funding, but there is still a long way to go.

The design looks very inspiring. The new playground has been designed by our local resident Cath Masri-Stone, who has come up with a unique layout and has gained much interest on their Facebook page @FishpondsParkBristol.

The group has recently set up a crowd-funding scheme in order to raise a further £5,000 towards the redevelopment. So far £760 has been generously donated by local residents and a further £1,000 has come from Tesco’s Bag For Life. The aim is to raise as much as possible from the community to enable them to apply for the remaining £40K from The Land Fill Trust Fund. So with around £3K left to raise and a deadline of March 31 they urge anyone interested in helping to donate via www.localgiving.com/fishponds