A HISTORIC plot of recreational ground is being regenerated by a group of devoted volunteers.

In 1930, Darlington grocer and former parish councillor Frederick Fryer - described in one obituary as “quite a personality in the rural district” – gifted a seven-acre plot of recreational ground to the former Haughton Parish Council.

Protected by a restrictive covenant, the Fryer Recreation Ground was intended primarily for use by children in the village and has proved popular with residents of Haughton and their families ever since.

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The Friends of Fryer Crescent Recreation Area was formed earlier this month in a bid to maintain the land and ensure it can be enjoyed for generations to come.

The group is working to ensure the recreation ground remains safe, clean and tidy with facilities that can be used by younger children and teenagers.

They are also hoping to attract funding to support the progression of ideas including the creation of a shelter for teenagers on the land and the planting of trees and seeds.

The Friends group has also welcomed outside efforts to improve the playground area, with new equipment recently installed and more expected in the future.

Secretary John Thompson is appealing for volunteers to join in with their efforts and hopes to engage the local community in the regeneration of the well-used green space.

He said: “This started because there was a lot of littering going on and, as part of the Street Champions scheme, we started tidying the area up.

“We eventually decided to form the Friends group with the aim of looking after the field and developing it.

“It was a gift to the children of Haughton and there’s a covenant on it to say it should be used for the children of the village but sadly it has been neglected recently.

“It has suffered from council cuts to grass cutting and that also rendered the football area virtually useless.

"There's also a lot of litter amongst the brambles that we need to sort out - this time of year is a good time to do that.

“We want to clean the area up and we’re now looking for people to come along and help us to keep the place tidy.”

Anyone who would like to volunteer should contact Mr Thompson on 07505 538902.