Assault course at new village park

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AN ASSAULT course will feature at a new village park set to officially open later this year.

Cotton End Park in Long Buckby used to be the village’s poor land, let out to earn money for distributing to good causes. But the parish council decided to turn it into a facility the whole community could use.

Now a group of volunteers is transforming the former fields into a mini-countryside park with play areas and nature side-by-side.

David Stoddart, who is one of the volunteers, said: “The site is about 10 acres in all and we’re developing lots of different things there – we’re putting in sheep to get people in touch with rural farming, there’s going to be ponds for wildlife, and we’re also putting in an assault course.”

Nick Roberts, another volunteer, said: “There’s going to be around 10 pieces of equipment – things like rope walls, parallel bars, tyre hopscotch, hurdles. And it’s all going to be made out of wood and natural rope to fit in with the ethos of the park.

“It’s designed for older children, teenagers and adults and it’ll run up a slight slope, with a zip-wire back down to the start to reward yourself with.”

Mr Stoddart said: “It’s taken a lot of work from volunteers. We have a committee of 10, but our mailing list has around 50 names on it. We’ve also involved the two village schools and the scouts as well, so it’s a real community project.

“A key issue has been raising the money to do the work. It’s always hard, but particular in times like we’re in now.

“But we’re now aiming to officially open in late summer.”