FOLLOWING the reopening of the modernised young children’s area of Yelverton’s popular play park 23 years after the original park as created, a key community member looks back at its history.

Brian Medhurst attended the opening of the ambitious £70,000 project to upgrade and refurbish the younger children’s play park and recalls seeing the original version opening to great acclaim.

The new-look play area not only caters for youngsters, but also disabled children and young adults with new swings in which users can lie down and has space for their carers to join them. Accessibiity is also improved for wheelchairs.

A large crowd joined the official reopening in September, with families and fund raisers celebrating another success in the history of Yelverton Community Projects which was launched by Brian 25 years ago.

Brian said: “The opening of the refurbished play park for the youngest users reminds me so much of when the whole play park was first opened — in fact there were mums and dads there who were children using the park 23 years ago.

“It’s the perfect location, right on the edge of open countryside, which was what we wanted for the children. It’s been so popular that parents and community groups even come from Plymouth. It’s probably the best play park in West Devon and into Cornwall.

“I feel just as happy about it now as I did when I was directly involved and the current chairman Ric Cheadle is doing a great job with the community projects team.”

The team began when Brian, helped by his wife Anne, decided they wanted to do something for the village and surveyed the needs of residents.

First came a successful care scheme for elderly and isolated people providing transport and proved especially useful during Covid, then a highly popular lunch club and a thriving cinema were added later.

The play park was a top priority and money raised and land donated by Maristow Estates after a tussle with ministers keen to protect common land.

Brian said: “Although I helped cut through red tape and pushed things along, it’s all down to Yelverton community spirit.”