Volunteers begin efforts to restore South Shields' Readhead Park as project gathers momentum

A volunteer army has begun efforts to clean up a Victorian park as part of plans to restore the open space to its former glory.

Monday, 19th August 2019, 6:00 am
Coun Glenn Thompson in Readhead Park, South Shields

The Friends of Readhead Park drive was set up by independent councillor for the Westoe ward Glenn Thompson in June, after he said residents had expressed concern over the area’s condition.

The first clean-up effort, which took place on Sunday, August 11, saw volunteers clear the overgrown area around the park’s outbuilding to allow access for a new roof to be installed.

Coun Thompson said: “I would like to thank everyone for all their efforts. It got a bit wet towards the end but the group were fantastic and the target of clearing the area around the park outbuilding was achieved.”

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Volunteers clean up Readhead Park

Around 12 people turned up to help on the day, but many more have expressed an interest in getting involved, according to Coun Thompson.

“We have a fantastic core group of members and lots of support on our Facebook,” he said. “Around 20-40 people have registered their interest and said they definitely want to help.”

He added: “I’m very happy with the response but I’m hoping to build the group a little bit more, I would love to get it to 100.”

A funding application by the group is currently being considered, which will cover the costs of the replacement roof, picnic tables for an area in the park, and the installation of CCTV to monitor the bowling club and outbuilding.

Volunteers clean up Readhead Park

The Westoe Village Fair has also donated a notice board to display the group’s upcoming activities.

“There is an awful lot going on,” said Coun Thompson. “A lot depends on the funding coming through, but everything is looking promising at the moment.”

He added: “I will be posting on the Facebook site very soon with details of the next activity and would like to ask anyone who has an interest to come along where they will be very welcome.

“I’m sure we can make some fantastic improvements in the park and it will all be down to keeping the activities well supported.”

The park outbuilding before the clean-up

Follow the Westoe Ward Facebook page for updates on the initiative.

The park outbuilding after the clean-up effort