Field ideas helping to build a community

Phil Dilks, Judy Stevens, Stuart Wallis, Kate Shinkins, Ashley and Alice Baxter at the Diamond Jubillee beacon event last summer.
Phil Dilks, Judy Stevens, Stuart Wallis, Kate Shinkins, Ashley and Alice Baxter at the Diamond Jubillee beacon event last summer.

Villagers living near a playing field are to be asked their opinions on how it can be used to bring their community together.

The large open space between the long-established Thackers Way and Crowson Way estates in Deeping St James has always been popular with dog walkers and youngsters looking for somewhere for an informal kick-about .

But in the wake of a hugely-successful Queen’s Diamond Jubilee event – when a thousand people witnessed the lighting of a beacon – the parish council is running with the idea of doing more to turn the field – now named Jubilee Park – into the heart of the village.

Chairman of the parish council Phil Dilks said: “It’s about building a community.

“At the end of last year we set up a gazebo on the mound and invited people to come and tell us what they wanted to happen with the field.

“We had a bit of feedback from that so, after another successful event – an open air carol concert at Christmas – we leafleted homes and held a public meeting last weekend.

“We asked people what they are interested in seeing on the field to help build a strong community.

“About 25 people turned up and we had some good ideas, such as more benches, trees, bulbs and flowers.

“One of the things that did crop up was some kind of ‘green’ path across the park.

“But the main message that came across was that we need to be very careful what we do.

“People say it needs careful planning and warning us not to run before we can walk.

“We must not rush in and do something for the sake of it and destroy the open space we have.”

Residents who attended the public meeting were also keen to see more community events held on the field, with the parish council now considering a dog show and a fete.

One of the most ambitious suggestions was a bandstand, which could be considered further down the line.

Mr Dilks added: “The parish council will now look at what we can do next.”