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Taking steps to OAP park

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A proposal to install a pensioners’ playground in Bingham is to be explored.

Mrs Joan Ashton (65) of Church Street, Bingham, who has arthritis, came up with the idea after seeing an outdoor playground designed to provide gentle exercise for the over 60s on television.

She approached Bingham Town Council to consider a similar scheme for the town.

At a meeting on Tuesday, the council’s recreation and cemetery committee decided to contact authorities who already provide such facilities to look into the type of equipment installed and costs.

The committee’s vice-chairman, Mr Rex Barnett, said equipment for pensioners needed to be central, easy to use and in a controlled area.

The committee chairman, Mr Frank Kerry said the equipment should be in a park setting where older people could appreciate the landscape and take part in other activities.

After the meeting, Mr Kerry said: “Somewhere for a bit of exercise where you don’t have to travel is a good idea.”

The Mayor of Bingham, Mr George Davidson, suggested contacting those who had already provided this kind of equipment to find out what their experiences were and to get further details about their project, such as the cost and the type of equipment they installed.

Mrs Ashton said she was pleased the council had taken the idea seriously and was going to look into it further.

She said the equipment would benefit those who could not afford to go to the gym and older people could use the playground whenever they wished and with others.

She said: “It is very important that older people keep as fit and active as they can.

“It is good new that they are looking into it.”

Britain’s first outdoor pensioners’ playground, in Blackley, Greater Manchester, cost £15,000 and features six pieces of fitness equipment.

It was inspired by a similar playground in Berlin’s Preussen Park, which features leg trainers, flexibility machines and back massage poles that help to improve strength, balance and stimulate circulation.

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