A village is hosting a picnic in the park to celebrate the completion of the redevelopment of its local playground.
The children’s recreation ground at Long Buckby is being revamped after years of under-investment to keep pace with the growth of the village.
The official opening of the new equipment, as well as the community picnic, takes place on Saturday June 28 at noon at the recreation ground.
The site is privately owned and has been run by a charitable trust since 1967. In the past it has suffered from vandalism and arson attacks as well as a lack of funds.
Rick Vivian, treasurer of the trust, said: “Our long-term plan for the redevelopment of the recreation ground will cost £120,000 and take three to four years to complete.
“Over the past year we have raised £30,000 to pay for the first phase. We received £10,000 from the National Lottery’s Awards for All England fund and another £10,000 in match funding from Daventry District Council. The rest we raised thanks to the generosity and goodwill of the people of Long Buckby and local businesses.”
Under the first phase of the refurbishment, several new pieces of play equipment have recently been installed in time for the official reopening at 11.30am on Saturday, June 28. These include a five-point swing, miniature roundabouts called ‘zig-zag twisters’, another roundabout called a ‘rock ‘n’ bowl’ and a jungle swing trail.
Phase two of the campaign will raise funds for equipment such as ladders and parallel bars designed to be used by older children.
The third and final phase will pay for the installation of apparatus that will be suitable for children of all ages and abilities.
Before deciding what play equipment to buy, the trust canvassed the views of local schoolchildren and their parents and community organisations.
Mr Vivian added: “We received tremendous feedback from everybody and we know we are developing a facility that is still needed and wanted by the community.
“Long Buckby has doubled in size since the trust was set up.
“Now we will have a recreation ground of a high standard and worthy for a village of the size it is now. We want as many families as possible to come along to the reopening to try out the new equipment.
“There will also be ice creams, goodie bags for the children and activities like den-making.”