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Wolsingham Parish Council

The Willows; future uses

The Willows

The site is owned by DCC and registered with ‘Fields in Trust’ as a children’s play area. It was intended for use by young children from the adjacent housing as a safe place to play. Initially it was equipped with picnic tables and some play equipment (roundabout and slide we believe). About 2005 these were removed as they were no longer regarded as safe. They have not yet been replaced. There was a recent initiative by the Resident’s Association which included some improvements and signage. DCC are in the process of imroving the seats and picnic tables, and adding safety fencing between the play area and the river.

 We are minded to restore the play area as it should be, for the children and parents of the area. It might also provide another venue for our teenagers to ‘hang out’ in the summer evenings, away from the road hazards and shops of the market place. This might involve the installation of more modern play facilities of a safe style for toddlers.

 However, we are aware that the river side vegetation is an important habitat. This is both for the ducks, moorhen, heron etc. which live on the water, and for other birds and wildlife for whom the vegetation provides a ‘corridor’ through the town. It was alleged that Otters have been seen there, which would be remarkable.

 We had no response to this consultation and so decided to take no action at present. DCC will improve the facilities.

No further concerns have been raised with us.