Croxton Play Area
Inspections and Risk Assessments are undertaken annually by Wicksteed Leisure
The opening of the Play area on March 22nd 2008 was very enjoyable, despite the cold and blustery weather . Approximately forty adults and twelve children attended the opening and entertainment was provided by Eccleshall Busker, Mac McCoig.
Mrs. Joan Painter. a former pupil of Croxton school, officially opened the site. The children participated in an easter egg hunt and hot cross buns and other refreshments were served, the hot drinks being especially welcome!
The feedback to date has been very positive and the equipment is being well used. The Parish Council is pleased to see families and local people enjoying the former school playing field and hope that it will be an excellent facility for the community.
The Council has tried to ensure that the play area is sympathetic and complements the natural environment in Croxton. Using items made from traditional materials wherever possible, such as wood, with few bright colours to impact on the attractive characteristics of the area.
The intention is to provide a scheme which is fun (and safe) for children to use and enjoyable for all the family Members have spent the last couple of years learning about play areas and some of the issues involved.
Extensive consultation has been carried out, including sessions held on three evenings in July at Broughton Parish Rooms when members of the public were invited to come along and express their views. There will be a range of benches and picnic tables within the area to allow families to use the site to the full, along with litter bins which we would encourage people to use. The site has timber fencing enclosing it, with a couple of self closing gates for ease of access. The overall feel of the site has been designed with safety, children’s entertainment and enjoyment in mind.
The final location of the play area has been chosen to best fit with the Playing Field overall and the long term best development of the rest of the natural area and Millennium Wood. It is close to the large oak tree bordering the main road and will offer better visibility of children playing on the area from the road.
As a result, a number of small shrubs and trees have been removed to allow the Play Area to be sited in this location, but this has meant that other trees and areas have been left. Children under the age of 8 should be supervised on the site at all times. It is hoped that this will be an area used and enjoyed by the families and people of Croxton for many years to come.
The Millennium Wood has really established itself over the past eight years, with many of the trees now getting to a point where they are self sufficient and can continue to develop into a mature wooded area. Staffordshire County Council’s Arboriculturist recently visited the Millennium Wood to offer some advice on how best to develop the trees into a mature woodland area.
The advice has been to remove any of the trees which were leaning significantly, had become damaged and were at risk of being too close together to impede future growth, with the weaker trees being removed. To the best of our knowledge this has not involved the removal of any trees planted by local residents specifically in commemoration of events or local people.
In addition the arboriculturist recommended the removal of the brambles across much of the site, those trees which look incongruous in a wooded area like leylandii and the self seeded low level bushes at the back of the Wood. One other suggestion was to look at the grass as it has become rutted through lack of grazing, cutting or use over time. Another was to remove some of the litter which seems to have built up recently on the site.
This work is happening now, and the recommendations will be looked at on an annual basis to ensure the best development of the Millennium Wood over the long term and make it an area accessible for all local residents to use and enjoy as a natural area.