Children launch petition for new play area in Butterknowle
By David Wibberley - Reporter
A GROUP of dale youngsters have decided to take things into their own hands in an attempt to get a play park for their village.
Nine-year-old Sara Lowther along with a group of friends are organising a petition, which they intend to present to the parish council asking for a play area to be provided for the children of Butterknowle. Sara said: “There is very little for us to do in Butterknowle – there is no play park. All we can do is jump curbs on our bikes.”
Sara’s dad, Tommy, who grew up in the village, said: “There are about 25 children in Butterknowle and the nearest play park is in Copley. It is too far away and road is not safe for them to cycle.”
Mr Lowther explained that there used to be a play park but it had been removed in the 1980s and never replaced. He said: “The only thing that is left is the rusty frame of the swings and a rough patch of grassland.”
There has been a positive response to the petition with nearly 300 signatures collected from around the village. Sara said: “Since we started nobody has refused to sign – we have still got a lot of people to ask as well.”
Mr Lowther added: “They are doing really well and they are all very community spirited. During the holidays they have even been litter picking to try to keep the village looking tidy.”
Parish councilor for Lynesack and Softly Jeanette Newell thanked the Teesdale Mercury for bringing the petition to her attention, adding: “The parish council is not aware of this petition, but we are happy to meet with this little girl and her parents to discuss the matter.
“The parish council has tried on numerous occasions to buy a piece of land for a play area without success. The last time was thwarted when several residents objected to the proposed location being too close to their homes.”
Sarah said: “If it is too expensive we are all willing to do some fundraising for the play park.”
Anyone with a suitable piece of land to sell or lease can contact the parish clerk by emailing lynesackandsoftleyparishcouncil@out