Children decide

KIDS will be able to choose the new environmental play area they want at a special event on the Maer on Saturday (September 12).

KIDS will be able to choose the new 'environmental' play area they want at a special event on the Maer on Saturday (September 12).

An undisclosed sum, to be paid to the district council, will be used to develop a patch of grassland, formerly a pitch and putt golf course on the Maer, into a 'play trail'.

On Saturday, children will be able to choose from several separate designs submitted - similar to the consultation process for a new play area at Bystock Drive.

And at the event there will also be face painting, circus skills and a nature walk.

The scheme, dubbed a 'Mega' play area, already has the backing of ward members, and the designs will be finalised once the 'polls' close on Saturday.

The cash comes from a Section 106 agreement between a developer and EDDC - developers contribute to improve community facilities to compensate for the impact of developments.

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A spokesman for East Devon District Council said: "EDDC will work with an environmental artist and the community to create a play area that delivers the twin benefits of providing enjoyment for families while informing them about the botanical and wildlife interest of the reserve."

He said that the 10-acre nature reserve at The Maer would 'not be compromised' and would be complemented by it - and the equipment will be designed to tell the story of the reserve's bio-diversity through play

EDDC's Education Ranger, James Chubb, who is part of the project team, said: "This is a really exciting scheme, which will enhance the seafront and provide a means of involving children in educational play that helps them appreciate the flora and fauna of the area. The design will be led by the creativity of the local community."

Littleham town and district councillor Mark Williamson said: "We are very excited about this.

"Instead of the usual swings we wanted 'new age' play furniture, made entirely out of recycled materials."

For more information contact: Jamie Buckley, EDDC, on: (01395) 517569.