Delight at return of fun feature in park

Coun Scott Dickinson and Deputy Head of Red Row First School, Dave Vero with pupils from Red Row First School and  Countryside Manager , Mike Jeffries, Gary Miller from Straughan's and Graham Mitcheson and David Dixon, Druridge Bay Site Staff.
Coun Scott Dickinson and Deputy Head of Red Row First School, Dave Vero with pupils from Red Row First School and Countryside Manager , Mike Jeffries, Gary Miller from Straughan's and Graham Mitcheson and David Dixon, Druridge Bay Site Staff.

New stepping stones at Druridge Bay Country Park have been welcomed.

The last of the 45 stones was laid by local county councillor Scott Dickinson, who contributed to the cost of the £4,500 project through his small schemes fund.

The original sandstone stepping blocks were laid across the ford in the park in the late 1990s and they were an immediate success, becoming a firm favourite with those walking through the park.

But they had to be removed last winter for safety reasons – years of weathering and frost damage had taken its toll as they were uneven and unstable.

Coun Dickinson said: “I was pleased that a local resident brought it to my attention so I could help out.

“The stepping stones have always been very popular with visitors to the park and the local community, so there was a lot of disappointment when they were removed and people really wanted to have them reinstated.

“A local stonemason tried to repair the original blocks but they were literally falling apart as they were worked on. An alternative solution had to be found.”

He decided to allocate some of his small schemes fund to the project and the rest of the money came from the park’s own maintenance budget.

Anya Monteith, aged nine, is among those who are glad to see the new blocks, which are buff in colour to blend into the surrounding environment.

She said: “I go to the park with my mum, dad and brother and we’ve all missed the stepping stones. They’re brilliant.”