Water park makes a splash

Witney’s long-awaited new splash park at The Leys opened for the first time this week ready for the summer holidays.

The £250,000 playground and miniature lake was opened to anyone who helped fund the project on Friday, with the official opening held on Monday.

Friday’s preview event saw the park enjoyed for the first time by Witney youngsters as well as members of the Witney Air Training Corps.

Mum of two Deb Benn took her children to the park on Friday, and said: “It’s great to see it open finally and to see all these kids here having fun.

Ms Benn, who campaigned for the park and helped raise the money added: “It’s been a long hard slog.”

As well as the new park The Leys saw the opening of a café and eight new tennis courts earlier this month.

Claire Swan, facilities manager at Witney Town Council who spearheaded the project, also attended the preview event.

She said: “I’m really happy. It’s going to be great.

“Its amazing to see all this kids here. They will remember this park. They won’t know about all the hard work that went into it but they will remember playing here.

“It shows what we can do when we pull together.”

The park proved to be a hit with youngsters and adults enjoying the water pistols and the structure christened ‘Witney Towers’.

Other features include a reading chair for the more thoughtful children, magnifying glasses for the scientifically minded and birdhouses for the young nature enthusiast.

The design manager for the park, Tony Lucas from Huck Playgrounds, said: “I’d be lucky to get a project as good as this again.

“Its one of the best projects we’ve had as a community project. Everybody has pulled together to make this happen.”

Mrs Swan added: “I would like to thank WREN, the Oxford Playing Field Association, councillor Harry Eaglestone and Deb Benn. They’ve all been brilliant.”