A PLAY area in Shipston which has fallen into disrepair will soon be refurbished.

Volunteers are wanted for the first phase of the project to plant a new fruit orchard in the Queen’s Avenue Park play area, off Campden Road.

The play area, which currently contains only two A-frames and a football goal post, has been derelict for more than a decade and has become a concern to residents.

But thanks to more than a year of fundraising, £36,000 of the £90,000 target has already been raised to put the play area back on the map.

Polly Taylor, who lives on Queen’s Avenue and started the action group said she was delighted with the amount raised so far.

“It’s a wonderful feeling and very heart-warming,” she said. “It would be nice by the end of this year to be in the final phase but its all grant dependent.”

Transition Shipston has raised £1,000 for pear and apple trees, which will be planted alongside blackberry and raspberry bushes during a digging and planting weekend on Saturday and Sunday. Some large play equipment has also been ordered.

So far money has been raised from donations and grants including £10,000 from Shipston Town Council, £1,000 from Warwickshire County Council’s Community Development Fund, a £25,000 grant from the SITA Trust and £500 from an Olympic torch event last summer.

The group is still waiting to hear if it has been successful with its application for a £20,000 grant from Orbit Housing. For details or to volunteer call Polly Taylor on 07789 641252.