North Petherton Town Council (the Playing Fields Trust) is responsible for both Parkersfield and Memorial Field, those much-loved large green recreation spaces within our community.
Parkersfield is of course the home of North Petherton Football Club, whilst also having substantial modern play facilities for younger and older children, a state-of-the-art BMX track, and free public tennis courts. In addition, Parkersfield is a very popular dog-walking area with its beautiful views, long hedgerows and peaceful fresh air. The Memorial Field on the A38, which was gifted to the children of North Petherton in memory of local fallen veterans after World War 2, had not had any improvements to its play facilities for over 30 years. Now the new Memorial Park has just been completely transformed with up-to-date play, leisure and fitness facilities for all ages. Following consultations with the community, funding was sought and secured and despite the pandemic, the construction was carried out on time. Some of the final finishing touches are now being completed with the help of local volunteers and the longer-term plans for landscaping, tree-planting and wildflower areas will also involve the community. Local schoolchildren took part in the initial consultation and will have a special role in developing the Wall project into an arts and performance area.
During the difficult past year, the Trust has had to respond to many changing national Government regulations about the Covid-safe use of facilities at both sites. Although the children’s playgrounds at Parkersfield are allowed to remain open during the current Lockdown, unfortunately the tennis courts and BMX track have had to close again. We had of course expected to open the Memorial Park to the public by now. However, alongside all the exciting new children’s play equipment, the site also includes a ball court and substantial outdoor gym equipment aimed at adults, neither of which are currently allowed to be used. The Trust recognises that children could not realistically be prevented from using some equipment and not others within the same area, so the opening of the Park is sadly delayed until there is an easing of official restrictions. Meanwhile the ground has had a chance to settle after all the muddy construction work and the grass has already been cut twice. The wonderful new leisure and play facilities, including the Carnival-themed tractor centrepiece, are gleaming brightly, waiting to welcome their first visitors as soon as circumstances allow – and then the Park will be there to enjoy for many years to come.
Chair – North Petherton Playing Fields Charitable Trust