What do you want from your park?

Pupils from Richard Avenue primary school, dog walkers,councillors and Fitness coach's all enjoying Barnes Park. Below, fitness coach Melanie Brewis holds her Wear Fit bootcamps in the park.
Pupils from Richard Avenue primary school, dog walkers,councillors and Fitness coach's all enjoying Barnes Park. Below, fitness coach Melanie Brewis holds her Wear Fit bootcamps in the park.
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FRIENDS of a city park are asking Wearsiders to help them shape its future.

A £3million revamp has helped Barnes Park, in Sunderland, enjoy a new lease of life.

Fitness coach from Wear Fit bootcamp, Melanie Brewis, holds her classes in Barnes park.

Fitness coach from Wear Fit bootcamp, Melanie Brewis, holds her classes in Barnes park.

Now Friends of Barnes Park are asking people to use Facebook to tell them what attractions and events they would like to see there.

Chair Rebecca Atkinson said: “Obviously the park is really popular with residents and people in the ward and the city, but really we want to take the park forward.

“It was used previously in quite a bad way, with antisocial behaviour problems, and we really want to step away from that and make sure it is used properly.

“Now we are trying to work with residents via a Facebook page and really want them to get in touch to let us know what they want to see in the park.

“We want it to be the epicentre of community life. It has been in the past but we want to bring that back.”

Personal trainer Melanie Brewis, who runs fitness company Wear-Fit, was so impressed by the new-look park that she now uses it as a base for her boot camps.

She said: “It was definitely the location. Once I had seen it being renovated, I could see how it was going to fit with the boot camp.

“We use the benches and need a lot of space for some of the exercises and it does seem like a safe environment in the park.”

Pupils from nearby Richard Avenue Primary School, and Barnes councillor Michael Essl, also gave their backing to the Friends’ work.

Coun Essl said: “I am a regular dogwalker in the park and it is a fantastic resource – much, much better than it was.

“You used to walk through it before and it was awful.

“Now there are things like the XL Youth Villages coming in with provision for the kids, and Youth Almighty running sessions in the Coach House centre on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights, so they are really trying to make the park accessible for all.”

Suggestions on plans for the park can be made at the Friends of Barnes Park page on Facebook.

Twitter: @janethejourno