Donaldson Park at the Clachan is our local village park which is owned by the Donaldson Trust. Stirling Council manage the play areas, maintain the grass, and Balfron Rovers, the local football team, look after the football pitch.
In 1996, a special playpark for the weans of the village was installed, with various items added over the years – this playpark is known locally as “The Wee Playpark”. It was noted that although this was well used, there was very little play equipment for older children and adults to enjoy.
In 2017, Balfron Community Council started a project to install equipment that children of all ages could enjoy, but that was also sympathetic to the surrounding park. One of the key items the community wanted was a “flying fox like the one we used to have”.
Fund raising and design work began – lots of ideas from the local children, lots of meetings with Stirling Council and suppliers on designs and many hours writing applications for funding. By early 2018 we have a design agreed, funding in place and were ready to go
Work started in May 2018, and although there was fencing around the site, the progress was watched by us all with great interest and excitement. Finally the site was opened at the end of the summer, and became the place to be after school with the two zip lines in perpetual use. A bench and seats was added to complete the area.
And then a blip – during a major storm in September 2018, some trees were uprooted and fell on the far end of the zip line making it un-usable. Stirling Council were immediately on the case, working with the supplier. They removed the fallen trees, re-concreted the supports and got everything working perfectly again. And the village got a good supply of firewood for the winter from the tree felling.
In 2019, focus then turned to the wee playpark, where the equipment was aging and becoming unusable and the fencing surrounding the play area unstable. Using Section 75 funding from the White Yetts development, two new units were ordered to replace the old play units. Unfortunately the pandemic delayed their installation but in March 2021 they were finally installed. In addition the old flying fox area was re-landscaped and planted with grass, tidying up an eyesore.
The final stage of the work was completed in June 2021 which included a new metal fence around the wee playpark mirroring the style of the Spokers Loan park gate and a sandpit within the wee play park. To celebrate the wee play park’s 25th birthday, we left a range of toys in the sandpit for for the children of Balfron to enjoy.