Improvement projects at much-loved Sunderland park

Coun Peter Wood and Coun Michael Dixon were joined by Mary Todner (far right) of the Friends of Backhouse and Barley Mow Parks and Ian Coburn, council compliance and imrovement officer to see one of the sets of new gates that have been installed. The gates will be kept closed, but not locked, to prevent children and dogs from running out onto busy roads.
Coun Peter Wood and Coun Michael Dixon were joined by Mary Todner (far right) of the Friends of Backhouse and Barley Mow Parks and Ian Coburn, council compliance and imrovement officer to see one of the sets of new gates that have been installed. The gates will be kept closed, but not locked, to prevent children and dogs from running out onto busy roads.
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A SPRUCED-up entrance is the gateway to a host of improvements at a city park.

Gates have been installed at Backhouse Park to help improve safety at its Ryhope Road entrance.

Parents have expressed how much safer they feel with the gates being there to provide a safety barrier between their children and the busy roads.

Though the gates won’t be locked, they’re aimed at keeping children and dogs safe.

With the help of local councillors, The Friends of Backhouse and Barley Mow Parks have installed the gates as part of a list of improvements at the recreation areas.

Group secretary Mary Todner said: “They are not meant to be locked as people use the park from early morning until late evening.

“As the only park within the Sunderland Central Area that dogs can run freely off their leads, the gates have proved to be a huge success with our community of dog walkers. Parents have expressed how much safer they feel with the gates being there to provide a safety barrier between their children and the busy roads.”

With funding help from the Community First Project, the group has been making other changes, including picnic benches near the children’s play area and planting more than 100 native saplings from the Woodland Trust.

They will be planted over the course of the next few years to replace trees that have been felled due to disease or potential danger to the 
public.

Future events will also include an Easter egg treasure hunt and egg decorating on March 29, a Dog Days activities session at the end of May and a teddy bears’ picnic during the summer school holidays.

Mary added: “There is still a lot to do in the park and we are currently seeking funds to update the benches and bins of the park, as well as to create some wonderful features in the park celebrating its long history and that of the Backhouse Family, who kindly donated the park to the people of Sunderland and did so much else for our city.”

•To book a free place on the Easter egg hunt, contact Helen on Tel. 07504096432 or Mary on Tel. 07818273939.