THREE years of planning and fund-raising has not always felt like child’s play, but the results delivered to Letham have been warmly welcomed by the community.
Local residents turned out to mark the official opening of the village’s recently-completed play park makeover.
New play equipment has been installed, as well as a unique eco-friendly shelter built, with help from local children.
The project was made possible with grants from LEADER in Fife, Fife Environment Trust, the Lottery and Fife Council, while materials and tools were donated by local businesses.
Local children raised money by washing cars.
The project was spearheaded by Cathy Bache, founder of the Secret Garden outdoor nursery.
The park plays an important role for the nursery and is used as a meeting point before children and staff head off to nearby woods for the day.
Dave Hamilton, policeman and chair of the community council, said: “It’s been a great effort by everyone involved to transform what was a tired and underused park into a fun and exciting place for adults as well as kids.”
Attending the opening, Roz Mullin, assistant lead practitioner for the Secret Garden said: “The new shelter and play equipment are fantastic and will be well used by the children who come to the Secret Garden.
“Although we spend the majority of the day in Letham woods, the park is an important base for our daily activities.
“As an outdoor nursery, we rely on the village and its surrounding areas enormously – we are very grateful to the local residents of Letham who have been, and continue to be, supportive of the Secret Garden.”
Local green group, North Howe Transition Toun, helped build the new shelter.
Tom Morton, chair of NHTT, said: “This project shows how any community can come together to make their area a better place to live.”
The eco shelter was designed by local architects and built by Falkland-based Little and Davie Construction, specialists of traditional building techniques.
The clay walls were built with the help of volunteers, mainly from the Secret Garden and Letham Primary School.
Master builder Becky Little, said: “Building with the children has been great fun, as well as educational and has created a building rooted in its community.”
Letham resident Louise Barron, who was instrumental in getting the project off the ground, added: “Although not always easy or straightforward, the past three years have shown what can be achieved by community involvement and enthusiasm.
“The project is a great example of people working together to share their skills and expertise for the benefit of local residents.
“We owe a big thanks to all the organisations which helped fund this project – without which we would not have been able to offer children and young people a valuable space for outdoor play.”