New facilities at Battle Recreation Ground officially opened

Students Hugo and Evie cut the ribbon with PCSO Julie Pearce-Martin
Students Hugo and Evie cut the ribbon with PCSO Julie Pearce-Martin

Parts of the revamped Battle Recreation Ground were officially opened last Wednesday (September 11).

Following consultation with various groups, and in particular the local schools, Battle Town Council invested time, effort and funds to research the best equipment and facilities for its recreation ground in North Trade Road.

Cllr Terry Byrne cut the ribbon on the new junior football pitch

Cllr Terry Byrne cut the ribbon on the new junior football pitch

It then approached other agencies to help finance these amenities. Last Wednesday the council was proud to welcome those groups and organisations that had assisted financially and practically to the recreation ground, to officially ‘open’ the table tennis table, youth pod, junior football pitch, and petanque court.

The castle-themed play equipment has already proven to be most popular attraction, and the council plans to move the other younger children’s equipment, such as toddler swings and the whirly bird, from the existing location nearer to this. This will enable the new aeroskate, provided mainly through National Lottery Funding, and the youth pod to provide a distinct area for older children.

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The table tennis table is close to the multi-use games area, sheltered by trees to help prevent the loss of balls. The Tesco Bags of Help scheme contributed £1,000 towards the purchase of this facility.

Students from Claverham Community College (CCC) requested and raised funds towards the youth pod situated on the western side of the recreation ground.

The Police Property Act Fund and Rother District Council’s (RDC) Community Grant scheme also contributed towards this.

CCC head boy and girl, Hugo Holmes-Bower and Evie Eason-Warner, cut the ribbon with PCSO Julie Pearce-Martin.

A few years ago, a junior pitch was marked out on the upper area of the rec to provide a suitable area for primary children and their families to enjoy kick-abouts. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the sloping ground, the ball was frequently chased down to the senior pitch.

During the work to level the junior pitch area, there had been much speculation as to the use of the area. The council can now report that, with grateful thanks to a further RDC Community Grant, the pitch has been levelled which will allow much greater use of the area for sport and community activities and events.

The pitch will also host the Walking Football for seniors, which has already been initiated by Battle Baptist Football Club. Cllr Terry Byrne, RDC chairman, was invited to cut the ribbon for the junior football pitch. He was joined by Malcolm Johnston, chief executive of Rother District Council, sports development officer Adrian Gaylon, and district Councillor Kathryn Field.

The council are indebted to Battle Muffins who offered support to build a much-requested petanque terrain. Not only did they provide a generous contribution towards the cost but Bryan Godwin, a Battle Muffin member, designed and built it with the assistance of the council’s ground staff.

Thanks were also expressed to district Councillors Kathryn Field and Kevin Dixon for their support of these projects, which are a true benefit to the town.

This summer has seen a huge number of people enjoying the recreation ground and it is hoped that the additional facilities will encourage a more active and enjoyable experience.