Team backs community project

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Calderdale ground maintenance operatives swapped housing for woodland when they lent a helping hand to a community project.

Staff from Pennine Housing, part of the Together Housing Group, used chainsaws to help clear trees and undergrowth at Sunnyvale Fishery and Outdoor Activity Centre near Hipperholme.

The centre, which is on the site of a former boating lake and go-cart track, was developed by PC Chris Madden, Rastrick’s Ward Officer, to help engage young people and educate them about avoiding criminal activity. PC Madden is hoping to use the space cleared to build a bodger shelter as a base for summertime activities.

Iain MacDonald, Environmental Services Coordinator at Together Housing Group, said working in partnership with the police and the community was a central part of the housing group’s ethos.

“Everyone benefits from projects that help get young people engaged and learning and the project at Sunnyvale is really important for them to get actively involved, learn about the work ethic as well as taking pride in what they have achieved.

“Many volunteers from the local community, including some Pennine Housing tenants, regularly help out and our highly trained grounds maintenance operatives couldn’t wait for the chance to support this project.”

The operatives spent a morning clearing wood, before enjoying a brew boiled on the site’s kettle, which is powered by solar and water energy.

Sunnyvale Pleasure Garden, just off Badger Lane, Hipperholme, had become overgrown since closing in 1949 but in its heyday attracted 100,000 people a year to enjoy attractions such as a boating lake, helter skelter and mini-steam train