Stoke Lyne playground, Oxfordshire

Stoke Lyne is a village in rural Oxfordshire, not far from the market town of Bicester. With no village hall and few community facilities, there was little at Stoke Lyne to engender community spirit until Ginny Duffell and her friends on the village playground committee got together to change things.

Their objective was to replace the somewhat scruffy children's playground on the local recreation ground with a much improved facility. It was to be a playground for all ages in the village that would provide a meeting place for young, old and in-betweens.

The group approached Viridor Credits through the Trust for Oxfordshire's Environment, in the hope of securing a Landfill Communities Fund grant. Their application met the essential criteria and they were rewarded with £30,000 towards the relocation and renewal of the playground.

Now that the work has been completed, Stoke Lyne Playground is the source of considerable civic pride within the village and, as Ginny Duffell says; "has fuelled community spirit." The once scruffy playground has been moved to a different part of the recreation ground site and equipped with smart modern facilities, starting with safety surfacing and a good range of play equipment for the village children.

Seating and a picnic table have been provided to help involve the adults - whether they be parents who want to enjoy family activities with their children or older people hoping to enjoy a bit of company in the fresh air. The project has been finished off with recycling bins, which are 'right on the money' with regard to sustainability and supporting the villagers' new-found pride in their local environment.

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