Thornhill park friends unveil their plans

BIG PLANS: Jill Wilson and Wade Hyde from the Friends of Rectory Park who have sharing their plans with local residents. (d08031144)
BIG PLANS: Jill Wilson and Wade Hyde from the Friends of Rectory Park who have sharing their plans with local residents. (d08031144)
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A GROUP has unveiled its makeover plans for a park which it says has been neglected.

The Friends of Rectory Park group has been working in Thornhill since May 2010, and recently presented its ideas to local people.

President Wade Hyde said: “Normally, the only response you get is from talking to people in the park. People tend to come in and have a walk around and you see them and you chat to them.

“We had a presentation evening to broadcast it, so people could come along and talk about it, read about it and ask us questions.”

The biggest job will be to clear and restore the island in the park where Thornhill Hall once stood as the seat of the Savile family.

The group also wants to enhance the park’s paths and signs, improve the drainage in the moat that surrounds the island and build an outdoor gym with six pieces of equipment.

The Heritage Lottery Fund will pay for some of the improvements, but the Friends of Rectory Park has submitted other funding applications to the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Big Lottery Fund and Kirklees Council.

The council has already done some work to remove litter from the island and the moat, but there are lots of fallen trees and branches that Mr Hyde wants to see cleared.

Mr Hyde was advised to set up a ‘friends’ group to put some weight behind his plans for the park.

He said: “Things were just getting worse and worse. Other trees had come down and I was getting fed up of getting nowhere.”

The Friends of Rectory Park now has more than 40 members, with a senior committee of six.

Work on the island could take several years before it is complete, but the group is hoping to start constructing on the green gym in April.