THERE was fun had by all last weekend as the Crossgates Play Area Association officially opened the new play park in Windmillknowe.

Funders, local councillors and members of the community all attended the event on Saturday, March 16, when kids were able to enjoy an ice cream while they made the most of the new equipment. 

Laura Wheatley, the Chairperson of the Crossgates Play Area Association, told the Times: "The Play Area Association started in 2019 with a small group of local parents and grandparents who had a vision to create a new and exciting play park for the children of the village.

"All dedicating huge amounts of their time and energy to the project, the passionate committee of volunteers became a constituted group."

The village children were consulted and the group took their ideas into consideration when designing the park.

She said: "Ideas ranged from a petting zoo,  fizzy drinks fountain and a water park, to some recurring favourite themes such as monkey bars, basket swing and of course the zip line. The children also wanted a park that everyone could use so it was important that we included a wheelchair-accessible roundabout."

In order to raise the £170,000 that was needed, the group worked hard to get funding from local businesses, planned fundraising activities - such as the village-wide Easter Egg hunt - and set up a JustGiving page.

Laura continued: "The park has been open for some time but the committee were waiting for the weather to improve and were keen to mark the achievement with the local community.

"We were certainly very lucky with the weather and the children enjoyed ice cream cones. The ribbon was cut by Maureen Cuthbertson, representing the Muirdean Trust, a significant funder in the project.

"We have had great support not just from the local community and funders, but also Fife Council, who worked with us to make the park a reality.

"The day ended with some unexpected excitement when the ice cream van got stuck in the mud, but the community spirit that was shown in supporting the park project came good again with villagers quickly coming together to pull the van free.

"The park is used by many children and families of all ages. Kids are even spotted playing when it’s raining! It is a wonderful asset for the village and we were delighted to be able to share the opening with so many members of the community.  

"We hope it inspires others to consider a similar project in their village or town. Next time you are passing, pop in for a look."