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Neath park refurbishment includes a section just for dogs

A dog contemplates the new Bark Park

The opening of a refurbished children’s play park in Tonna, Neath, has been welcomed by Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Wellbeing, Cllr Jeremy Hurley.

The Hunters Ridge Play Area renewal project was funded largely from a £187,956 “Community Contribution” intended for open space and play facilities from the Barratt Homes development at nearby Cwm Celyn in Tonna.

The scheme was managed from inception to completion by Neath Port Talbot Council’s Education, Leisure and Lifelong Learning Project Development and Funding Unit.

The existing play area had many ‘tired’ pieces of play equipment in need of renewal and refurbishment and the contract to update the facility was won by playground specialists Sutcliffe Play (South West) of Dorset.

Work started on site on February 27th this year and despite poor weather, the project was completed in seven weeks, officially opening to the public in April.

The renewal scheme extended the width of the play area by 10 metres, added access paths and enclosed all play equipment within a dog-proofed compound with self-closing entrance gates.

New, dynamic, challenging play equipment was added, including an embankment slide, ground trampoline and junior and toddler multi-play units.

And, uniquely, at the request of residents and given the popularity of the area for dog walking, the site boasts a ‘Bark Park’ agility course comprising weave posts, an ‘up and over’ section and a jump-through.

The renewed play park at Tonna shown with children from nearby Tonna Primary School and (top) NPT Council project development and funding manager Paul Hinder and (Inset) local member Cllr Dean Lewis with (below) Cllr Jeremy Hurley, a representative of contractors Sutcliffe Play and local member Cllr Leanne Jones.

Cabinet Member Cllr Hurley said: “I’d like to thank residents who have been patient during times of haulage of clean stone for drainage and the removal of spoil from the site and the contractors who have completed this project for the council. Outdoor play is vital for children’s health and wellbeing not only provides essential physical exercise but allows them to socialise with other children.

“As well as thanking Barratt Homes, I would also like to thank the council’s Streetcare teams who assisted the project with tree surgery, hedge laying and ground maintenance.”

The Hunters Ridge Play Area now also features inclusive play opportunities for those with limited mobility as there is an inclusive roundabout which is flush to ground level and also a ‘nest swing seat’ which offers extra back support to those with lumbar problems.

The ground trampoline is wheelchair accessible and good for rebound therapy. The whole play area is protected by Impact Absorbing Safety Surfacing in red and green colouring.