Follifields wildlife and recreation area in the village of Follifoot, near Harrogate, has been happily marking its territory.
The Follifields project began five years ago when the parish plan set out to provide a community recreational area and the village was offered a generous plot of land by a local landowner. After consultations within the village and school communities, planning permission was granted by Harrogate Borough Council in November 2016.
A condition of the lease was that the site should be fenced and this has been achieved with the help of £1,000 from North Yorkshire County Councillor Andy Paraskos’s locality budget. Locality budgets allow the 72 county councillors to respond to local needs and requests by recommending funding of up to £5,000 to support projects or activities that benefit the communities they represent.
Ceris Sladdin, secretary of Friends of Follifoot Wildlife, Recreation and Play (FOFWRAP), said: “One of the conditions of our lease was to fence the site with wooden post and rail fencing and this is exactly why we asked for help from the locality budget. The recent official opening launched phase one of the project, which included fencing, seating and the recreation area. Future phases to develop the wildlife area and ball sports ground are already under way with a view to completing the entire project by spring next year.
“In addition to the locality budget, FOFWRAP has received donations from community grant bodies, charitable trusts, local businesses and private donations.
“We have also had a successful few years of community fundraising which has produced in excess of £5,000. We now have a established annual fundraiser called Folliwood - when Bollywood comes to Follifoot - which is essentially an Indian pop-up restaurant in the village hall with Bollywood-style entertainment.’’
Cllr Paraskos said: “The project has already made a big difference by providing a much-needed community space for all ages to enjoy. The children’s playground is already in regular use and with further phases to be completed, the site will benefit the local community for ,many years to come.’’
The next big event is a community tree planting day from 10am on Sunday, 19 November, closely followed by Folliwood 2017 on Saturday, 25 November.