Five years ago, Shepton Mallet’s concrete skate park at the West Shepton playing fields was built and it has been a consistently busy and popular facility since it’s opening. Thanks to the resident-led charity Friends of Shepton Mallet Recreation (FReSH) that did the bulk of the fund-raising, the facility was delivered with minimal cost to local tax payers. After the opening of the skate park, FReSH also won a large bid from the National Lottery which was matched by the Town Council to tarmac the previously dirt BMX track to enable it to be used all year round. Again, the has proven to be a consistently popular facility and is used by people of all ages and abilities. The tarmac BMX track also has the advantage of being able to be used in all weathers, whereas the hand-polished concrete skate park can only be used in dry weather since it is so smooth.
A slight downside of the BMX track though is that it was built to ‘race’ specification; that is, it isn’t a complete loop but still has a dirt section between the start and finish line. Users have often said that during wet weather this becomes muddy, spoiling the experience.
I’m please to say that the Town Council will be ‘joining-up’ the track next week so it becomes a complete loop and therefore suitable to be used year round, whatever the weather. The works will take place from June 14th to 18th meaning the BMX track will be closed. The skate park will be unaffected. The works have been enabled by FReSH donating residual funds they had from previous fund-raising so again, a better facility for Shepton thanks to the work from some of its residents.
And to help celebrate both the skate park and BMX track, the Town Council has partnered with Team Rubicon (teamrubicon.co.uk) to host a Skate Jam on July 24th; the first Saturday of the summer holidays. Put the date in your diary now and details will be published nearer the time!
Until next time.
Matt Harrison, Chairperson