Saturday, 24 March 2012

Bigging up Rushcliffe Country Park

Easily the best country park in the East Midlands, Rushciffe Country Park, easily the best in the East Midlands, has been the playground of choice for the BFTF kids for many years. They affectionately call it the "Choo-Choo Train Park" due to its location next to the Heritage Railway Centre and have spent hundreds of child-hours in the playground, playing football in its green spaces and walking around the beautiful and wildlife-rich lake with Mr and Mrs BFTF.

The Lake, yesterday

Constantly evolving, recent years have seen the introduction of an outstanding BMX track, improved play equipment and, most recently, a labyrinth.

A labyrinth only has one path, think of it as Maze-lite

Regarding this latest addition to the parks long list of features, it is interesting to see how a simple (if rather elegant) circular arrangement of packed sand and bricks has on passers by. They seem drawn towards it like nails to a magnet. And for many (including the BFTF crew), simply walking around it is not enough. It gets competitive. A race begins, parents vs children, Mum vs Dad.

Who will win?

Somewhat surprisingly, Mum!

The labyrinth, Minotaur currently off sick with flu

Another aspect of the park that has particularly impressed BFTF is the cleanliness of the green spaces, which means that a game of football can be played without worry about what one might tread in (a far cry from the state of parks in BFTF's own youth)

The park has an interesting history as a WW2 bomb factory and then as a military surplus auction site, before being converted to the park that it is today. Incidentally, it's worth noting that consideration was given to the lant being used for housing instead of as a park - what a loss to the East midlands it would have been if that course of action had been taken.

You can read more about these aspects of the parks history at its Wikipedia entry, at the Friends of Rushcliffe Country Park and also the Ruddington History website.

BFTF is always keen to say "well done" when the opportunity arises, as it is so easy to fall into the habit of only communicating with organisations when one wants to complain.

So a wee email has been sent to the park management and the Friends of the Park to say thank you for all their efforts.

The Friends website is certainly worth a look as it shows just how much they have managed to get done over the years - and how they have consulted with local people about what the park needed. The organisation looks like a great one to volunteer for and should certainly be on the shortlist of any DoE youngsters!

He might look cute, but he can break you arm

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