New playground for Bealings

VILLAGERS have raised £150,000 in two years to open an impressive range of open-air play facilities for children of all ages on a three-acre field.Residents of Bealings, near Woodbridge, have transformed a sloping field into a play area with a multi-sports court, an adult fitness trim trail, aerial cableway, wooden maze, boules court and play equipment for younger children.

VILLAGERS have raised £150,000 in two years to open an impressive range of open-air play facilities for children of all ages on a three-acre field.

Residents of Bealings, near Woodbridge, have transformed a sloping field into a play area with a multi-sports court, an adult fitness trim trail, aerial cableway, wooden maze, boules court and play equipment for younger children.

The field is by the village hall and is ideally placed for many schoolchildren whose parents park in the village hall car park when they attend the primary school. Footpaths also lead to the attractive site.

The playing field and sports court are named after the late Lord Belstead, the first benefactor and former Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, and his sister Jill Ganzoni opened the playground yesterday.


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The previous play equipment was declared unsafe under new health and safety rules and in February 2006 the Bealings Village Hall Trust embarked on the major project to provide play, sport and leisure facilities. Chairman of the trust, Roger Roseboom, led the fundraising programme.

Significant grants were received including £55,000 from the Lord Belstead Charitable Trust, £45,454 from Biffaward, £10,000 each from the district council and the Suffolk Environmental Trust (Viridor credits) and £7,000 from the Local Network Fund.

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Residents rallied round when the BIG Lottery declined to give a grant - the application failed at the final hurdle - and they raised £15,000.

The overall theme for the area has been for the equipment to blend in with the rural nature of the site and to allow for managed wild life areas.

Jenny Shaw, project leader, said: “Although I was the project leader I have had the most fantastic support from about 50 volunteers doing various aspects of the work.”

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