Swings removed from Shropshire village playground over safety fears
Children living in a Shropshire village have been left without the swings in their local playground after they were declared unsafe and taken down.
This is just the first projected loss within the playground at Rushbury, near Church Stretton, as members of the community fight to raise funds to repair and replace the equipment.
The play equipment was installed in 2000 as part of a Big Lottery funded project to improve facilities for the village.
The community-owned Millennium Green and Playground are next to Rushbury Village Hall and Sports Courts, which serves all the villages in the Rushbury Parish, which include Wall-under-Heywood, East Wall, Longville in the Dale, Lushcott, Rushbury, Stanway and Stone Acton. The hall, green and playground are also a resource used by many people in the surrounding areas.
A spokesman for the Millennium Green Committee said: "Twenty years ago our community invested their time and energy into providing play equipment for a generation of youngsters. It's heartbreaking to think that the current generation of children could see their playground slowly being dismantled.
"It's not all doom and gloom though. We are very proud of the efforts being made by our community to keep trying to raise the funds needed to save the playground."
Local mum and business owner, Jen Bartl, has started a Just Giving page, project named Rushbury1. Leaflets are now being distributed around the community letting to keep everyone up to date.
The first target is to raise £500 through the page, although replacing the swings alone will cost over £2,000.
Being in the AONB means the play equipment has to be sympathetic to the environment and is mostly built using wood which does eventually rot. The total cost of maintaining and replacing the playground equipment will be almost £15,000. So far the Just Giving page has received £200 in donations from members of the community and other supporters.
"I'm so proud to live here," said Jen. "These donations are a great encouragement to keep fundraising. We are planning a Fun Day to be held at the village hall on Sunday. This is the day after the Local Produce Show and will enable our community to get together and have some fun, as well as hopefully raising money for the playground."