Published: 13/04/2018 09:30 - Updated: 13/04/2018 09:57

Beach group reaches play park goal

 

Dornoch BRIG members, from left, Viki MacKenzie, Helen Needs, Isla Fullerton-Smith and Kate Grant.

 

A hard-working, volunteer beach improvement group is swinging high as its goal of renovating a play park is finally in sight.

The last piece of funding has slotted into place for Dornoch Beach Regeneration Improvement Group’s (BRIG) £60,000 refurbishment of the play park, located near the beach car park.

Old equipment at the park will be taken our in the spring and the area landscaped before new play equipment is installed.

Group spokeswoman Isla Fullerton-Smith, said: "We have ordered the play park this week and are excited that we have reached our target,

"It will be 10 to 12 weeks for delivery so it should, all going to plan be finished for the later part of the summer season."

Dornoch BRIG was formed in 2015 by a group of local women who considered Dornoch beach to be the jewel in the town’s crown but were concerned that it was being sadly neglected.

Group members have since fundraised relentlessly, selling branded bags, calendars, postcards, tea towels, aprons, fridge magnets and other items at local markets and fairs

They have also approached local businesses for support and have submitted applications to outside funding bodies.

Their efforts enabled them to install picnic tables made from recyclable materials in 2015 at the top car park, which enjoys a stunning view of the beach and also next to the play area.

Dornoch BRIG also reinstated the flag pole which shows that Dornoch had been awarded a Scottish Seaside Award by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Last year the group became

the first in Scotland to join a national beach cleaning initiative when it linked

with #2minutebeachclean,

run under the auspices of the Beach Clean Network Ltd.

The scheme aims to encourage people

visiting beaches to spend

just two minutes picking up marine plastics and other litter.

Beach stations are

provided in the form of A

boards with a holder for litter pickers and a windproof slot for used plastic bags.

More than 200 beach clean

stations have are now located in the UK – with Dornoch being one of the most recent.

But the group’s main goal has always been to refurbish the play area and they are now able to do so following a grant from Highland Leader and a second award from the Tesco Bags of Help Scheme, amongst others donations and help.

Highland Council has pledged to clear the site and private firm Russell Play has been contracted to provide and install the new play equipment.

The park is to be roughly zoned into two areas, one for older children and the other for younger ones.

A set of swings is in order as well as an all-access "basket" swing, trampolines, a climbing tower and a hut.

Ms Fullerton-Smith said: "We are trying to keep it as low key and sustainable as possible and want it to blend in with the surrounding area. The new play equipment will be wooden and environmentally friendly – there will be no primary colours!"

Dornoch BRIG has now scaled back on its fundraising efforts but had no plans to stop completely.

Ms Fullerton-Smith said: "We have really come to the end of the road as far as the playpark is concerned and we are now thinking about re-grouping and making further funding applications.

"We would like to replace the old fence at the top car park and the steps leading down to the beach which are looking really scruffy.

"We’re going to keep going and try and further improve the area."

She paid tribute to local businesses and traders for the help in kind given to Dornoch Brig

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