Park gets upgraded irrigation system

Northumberland County Council executive member Coun Alan Thompson.
Northumberland County Council executive member Coun Alan Thompson.

A NEW irrigation system has been installed at an award-winning park in Ashington.

The new system will provide a more efficient and cost effective way of ensuring the two bowling greens at Hirst Park are watered.

The greens can now be completely irrigated in a matter of minutes, whereas previously park staff had to rely on a garden hose to water the playing surfaces.

This reduces the amount of time the greens are out of play and the timer allows the irrigation system to be switched on at night, which further reduces disruption.

The new system has been funded by SITA Trust.

Coun Alan Thompson, executive member for highways and neighbourhood services,, pictured, said: “The new system is going to make a real difference to the services that are provided at Hirst Park.

“I’d like to thank SITA Trust for funding the project and congratulate everyone who was involved in making it happen, including local volunteers who have played an important role in improving the park.”

The funding was secured by the county council, supported by Hirst Park Bowls Club the local MP.

SITA Trust is an ethical funding organisation dedicated to making improvements to the environment and community life.

Jools Granville, from the trust, said: “In July 2005 SITA Trust gave Hirst Park Bowling Club a grant of £25,000 towards fixtures and fittings in the newly built pavilion.

“Since then the club has gone from strength to strength and was chosen last year to host the county games.

“Membership is growing and the club is actively encouraging younger people to get involved.

“Irrigation however has been an ongoing issue, not only did it take a volunteer all day to water the green the method of doing so was not particularly best for the environment.

“We hope with this new system installed the volunteers at Hirst will have time for a game or two.”

Since 1997 when SITA Trust began its funding programmesit has supported more than 3,000 projects nationwide to a combined value of more than £89m and has been a supporter of community leisure facility improvement projects in Northumberland.