A BUCKLAND Monachorum parish councillor is making a plea for donations to revitalise a play park in Crapstone.

After being awarded £20,000 by the National Lottery, Susan Woollacott says “we are 3/4ths of the way there.”

I went to meet Susan, yesterday, 28 May, to find out more about the play park and immediately I was struck by the seeming isolation of that scenic village on the moors.

The play area, which the council purchased some 30 years ago, is not much more than a couple of swings, a tiny wooden fort and a slide fastened to a steep dirt mound – a cover up for an old pile of refuse.

The soggy park sits within a field that feels more like a basin, and is surrounded – on one side by a meadow of wildflowers and on the other, a fenced off field whose sole occupant, a lovely but old and lonely horse, is keeping his watchful eye over the play area.

“He used to have two other friends, but sadly they died,” Susan tells me, as she plods through the squashy grassland in her pink wellington boots.

As we walk she tells me more about the park proposals. Her answers are semi-rehearsed – likely from repetition, however, it struck me as more of a true sincerity – like she really cared about getting this over the line, and therefore, did not want to stumble on any of her talking points.

The council’s plans include a large multiuser play tower, a roundabout, a few tumble bars and some new swing sets.

Susan would also like to include an inclusive swing for children that are less able than others.

“It’s funny life, isn’t it? I was born maybe 30 feet from here, and here I am today,” she said.

She fears for the future of the village as it lacks any real amenities, and hopes the play area could make the village more attractive to families.

“We don’t even have a shop here anymore,” she said. “We used to and it was lovely. We would drink coffee and all hang out together. It was great for us. But the people who owned it retired.”

Susan believes people underestimate the importance of community spaces like the play park.

“The children need a place to be free and run wild. And at the park they can scream and shout as loud as they like,” she said.

For Susan, and the people of Crapstone, and perhaps that lonely horse in the field – breathing life back into the play park would be a great step towards a better community.

“We can sit here, and have a coffee, and watch all the kids having fun,” she said.

They have received more donations from the local county councillor Phillip Sanders, village pet care shop Pet and Pony and the Yelverton Rotary Club.

More donations would be gratefully received.