New year, new Thorley Wedge
The development will include new play and fitness equipment, landscaping works and wildflower planting. There will also be a chatter bench and some bespoke informal seating and a footpath for easy access in wet weather.
The facility will mark a space where older children are welcome and can safely socialise.
Chatter benches are a new initiative by the council to encourage residents and visitors to the district to sit and talk – the benches can be used by anyone who is open to having a chat with passers-by and aims to combat loneliness and aid meeting new people.
Councillor Eric Buckmaster, Executive Member for Wellbeing at East Herts Council said: “The improvements at Thorley Wedge are going to provide a great, safe space for young people to gather and socialise whilst the landscape works are going to create a picturesque view for passers-by. I look forward to seeing this area taking shape in the coming weeks and possibly even seeing some adults take the opportunity to ‘test out’ the equipment and keep active.”
The youth shelter that was previously situated in this area was removed earlier this year by East Herts Council in collaboration with the Safer Neighbourhood Team due to concerns around its ageing condition and some misuse by older teenagers and adults.
Bishop’s Stortford Safer Neighbourhood Team Sergeant Theresa Funes-Walker said: “The Safer Neighbourhood Team is committed to working with local partners around long-term solutions to prevent anti-social behaviour, as we recognise the detrimental impact it can have on communities.
“This project involved working with residents, park users and young people to bring about a positive outcome. It now means that the area is a safer place for young people to socialise and for residents to enjoy.”