Swingate residents call for new zipline in bid to improve children's play park
A determined father is set to put forward grand designs to improve a children’s play area in Swingate – including ideas for a new zipline and skate park.
Samuel Boneham founded the Swingate Residents Association Facebook page earlier this year to bring the community together during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Members of the new group soon began brainstorming ideas for improvements to Knowle Park, which many residents felt were needed to make it more enjoyable for children in the area.
Group founder Mr Boneham said: “My oldest is seven and generally finds it pretty boring after a while.
"There’s a lot of children on this estate and they all use the park, and it gets busy when they’re all on it queuing up to go on the same thing.
“There’s not a lot for the older children, aged seven and up, and we want to change that – there’s a lot of spare space that has potential.
"The Stag Rec and Hall Om Wong parks are really good but they are quite far away, with children having to cross dangerous main roads to get there.”
To get the ball rolling, Mr Boneham sent out a survey to children at the local Kimberley Primary School asking what new equipment they’d like to see at the park.
Out of 108 pupils surveyed, most were in favour of a zipline and a skate park, with ideas for a football pitch or basketball court also highly favoured.
Den-building activities and sensory play equipment were also among the suggestions.
Mr Boneham added: "The space definitely lends itself to having a zipline, with it being on a slight slope as well.
“With the older children, we’ve recently seen things like scooters and skateboards coming back into fashion, so we thought a mini skatepark would go down well.
“At the same time we do know that skate parks can be quite noisy, so I’ve got to knock on some doors and get residents’ opinions.”
As Knowle Park is maintained by Kimberley Town Council, Mr Boneham is set to put forward a full formal proposal for the improvements, along with signatures of all supporting residents, at a full council meeting on Thursday, July 29.
"The questionnaires and surveys show it is definitely something that is wanted by the community,” he added.
“We’ve got a lot of support and we know there are various funding routes available. Fingers crossed we’ll make some progress.”