Plas Madoc playground reopens amid pleas for help


Iwan Berry

A POPULAR play area which suffered an arson attack has reopened.

The Plas Madoc Adventure Junk Playground – also known as The Land – is now in need of cash support to offer more to youngsters in the area.

Children, parents and management staff were left devastated in March when a fire – which was started deliberately – ripped through The Land, causing considerable damage and destroying the on-site office.

The facility, dubbed “the strangest playground on earth” by an Australian news channel, has reopened, with children flocking to the unique junk playground throughout the half term holiday this week.

The Land is run by the Association of Voluntary Organisations Wrexham (AVOW) and playground manager, Claire Griffiths, said the facility now needs a cash injection to provide more services.

Members of Cefn Mawr Community Council rejected its application for £5,000 funding at a meeting on Tuesday.

Miss Griffiths said: “We are back up and running, and we’ve attracted a lot of media attention.

“We want funding to extend our hours and enhance what’s already happening. These kids need it.

“I understand everyone’s facing cuts at the moment. It’s a difficult time.”

She added: “The children have flooded back in since we reopened.

“When the fire happened we kept street-play sessions going in order to keep up their interest and show they could play anywhere.

“With the closure of Plas Madoc we’ve been hugely busy this week.

“If I look out of the window now I can see 40 kids playing in the rain – it’s a beautiful sight.”

The Land has developed a large following since it opened two years ago.

In February it was selected as one of the top 10 open adventure playgrounds in the UK by the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

Cllr Ken Bathers, chairman of the community council, said it was “disappointing” it could not support The Land with a cash injection, but said it was already facing a number of commitments.

He said: “It’s very, very disappointing – we would have loved to have supported it. But we’re also committed for funding to the Plas Madoc Leisure Centre, and we’re going to commit ourselves to so much more.

“We’ve only got so much in the pot, and some of our commitments haven’t been precepted for.”

Cllr Bathers said Cefn Mawr Community Council had also taken on the running and maintenance of 11 play areas in the area.

“We’ve had to take on 11 play areas, since the Wrexham Council voted them on to us,” he said.

“We’re looking at a minimum cost of £15,000 for those per year – and that’s without repairs.

“With repairs, you’d be looking more at £25,000.”

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