AN AMAZING £70,000 parent-driven fundraising drive means village children will soon have somewhere to play again.
It has taken just 18 months for a small group of determined Tarvin parents to raise the cash needed to replace village play equipment, which has fallen into dangerous disrepair.
For the past two years, parents have had to take their children to playgrounds in neighbouring villages, which is not always convenient for those without transport.
Play area appeal chair and mother-oftwo Clair Wedge said: 'We're really delighted that 18 months of hard work has resulted in achieving the final figure. It's quite amazing in such a short space of time.
'We're pleased as parents. We've had two years without a play area within walking distance of the village and it's really important, particularly in young children to be out in the fresh air and having exercise.
'It's more than that, it's a social area and we've missed that,' said Clair, whose children Andrew, four, and Elinor, one, will benefit from the new equipment.
In the space of a year those involved in Tarvin Play Area Appeal devoted their time to an immense fundraising effort, planning events, toy sales, and fun days as well as filling in more than 50 application forms for grant-making bodies.
The final sum which had been pledged to the scheme was given approval last week.
Clair said: 'We started with a very small group of parents and one parish councillor. We raised about £20,000 through community fundraising. We held a ball in Tarporley in May, which raised £2,500, a toy sale in Tarvin, a fun day in summer and did an envelope drop through every door in Tarvin - that's about 1,200 doors.'
Tarvin Parish Council donated £3,000 and another £5,000 was donated from Cheshire Police Authority towards security fencing as part of the Community Safety Partnership.
WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd) pledged £25,000 and £21,000 has been approved from the Living Spaces Fund, part of John Prescott's department - government money for regenerating open spaces.
Clair said: 'We'd like to thank everybody in the area who has contributed and supported and all the major donors because otherwise we wouldn't have been able to do it.
'Pet Twigg has done the majority of the work. Thanks should go to her in particular, as well as Roger Hones from the parish council, Tina McMillan and all the other parents.'
Now it's just a question of appointing contractors in the next month, so work can begin in early spring. By next summer, the play area, which will include new climbing equipment, swings and a roundabout, should be in full working order.
'There will be seating for parents as well, which is sadly lacking at the moment,' said Clair. 'We'd like to turn it into a picnic area as well, a social area. It can be quite isolating being at home with small children so it will be nice to know you have somewhere to go.'