Is Callendar a forgotten park?

Children have been playing on the play equipment in Callendar Park despite warning signs and a barrier. Picture: Michael Gillen
Children have been playing on the play equipment in Callendar Park despite warning signs and a barrier. Picture: Michael Gillen

Falkirk Community Trust is relying on handouts to maintain a children’s play park in one of the town’s most historic public spaces.

Parents and visitors to Callendar Park this week were confused over a sign placed on a kids chute and climbing frame which said it was “beyond economical repair”.

The sign, put up by the trust, added that it was “fund-raising” for a replacement and encouraged people to leave donations in a red box.

The chute also had barriers and signs warning parents not to let their children near the large slide, but the advice was being ignored and kids were walking through orange barriers onto it.

One parent, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s a shame that in the middle of summer the centrepiece of Callendar Park, which Falkirk people have been coming to for decades, isn’t in fully working order. I don’t blame children for going on the slides either as it is not exactly well roped off. If it is actually dangerous then a single plastic barrier won’t stop people.”

Paul Finnie, the trust’s sport and recreation manager, said: “Unfortunately after 25 years of being much loved, and much played upon, the main chute structure within Callendar Park Play Area has reached the end of its lifespan and needs to be replaced.

“We have undertaken extensive repairs on the wooden parts of the structure over the last few years, but following a routine safety inspection the structure has now been taken permanently out of use and will not be reopened.

“We took the decision to keep the rest of the play area open as the other pieces of equipment are still usable and allowed visitors to enjoy them during the summer holidays. The central structure is safe to remain in place unused, but we ask that parents and carers do not ignore the clear notices and safety barriers.”

He added: “We are currently investigating ways of raising funds for both the cost of dismantling the old structure and buying the new items which will be needed. The provision of facilities which allow local families to be more active and enjoy the outdoors is very important to us and we hope to secure the funds needed and install the new equipment.

“We appreciate the unexpected closure is disappointing for families who enjoy the park. We have provided information on the situation in the play area and will update the public once funding is secured.”