A group of fed up Moray youngsters have taken matters into their own hands by launching a petition demanding goal posts and skating facilities be added to their local playpark.
Most of the equipment at the park on the Seafield estate in the Buckpool area of Buckie is designed for the very young, meaning older children don’t have many outlets when it comes to playing outdoors.
This has led to complaints from locals who are exasperated at youngsters playing football in the street and riding scooters on the roads.
Aware of the growing resentment towards the children, Buckie Riverside Church pastor John Coppard decided to speak to them to find a solution that might keep everyone happy.
After asking the youngsters what they would like to have added to the local amenity, a petition has been set up urging the owners of the area, Springfield Properties, to take action.
It is hoped that new equipment would stop young people playing on the roads, and could solve the problem for the coastal community.
Rev Coppard fears that the likelihood of an accident will only increase as the nights get darker.
He said: “We used to have a regular tenants meeting and the main topic of conversation was the kids playing football on the roads on the estate, and using their scooters in the middle of the road.
“It became a general moan against the kids and I will be honest, it was annoying as I had football outside our house at 9pm.
“It came to a head and, rather than fall out with them, I thought there must be a better way.
“I went out to ask what they would need to stop playing in the middle of the road every night.
“Goalposts would be a number one and number two is a skate park; that’s what they want in the park.
“The park only has swings and shoot, so it is really for smaller kids and there is nothing there for young teenagers.”
He added: “The streets aren’t that well lit and we get enough cars that might cause a problem and prove potentially dangerous.
“My message is ‘let’s engage with the kids’, and let them to push the petition forward. But I am happy to help in any way I can.”
Rev Coppard has thus far been impressed with the response he has received.
He said: “I made them a petition and handed it out to the kids with parents’ permission.
“Bless them, they went around all the estate’s houses getting signatures – which was a big success.
“As a result, I put the petition on the internet and it has been pleasing to see the response from the community.
“It is really to get the kids to take ownership of the petition and if it comes from them, then there is more of a chance that something will work out.
“However I can see how annoying the kids playing on the roads could be for the older folk.”
Springfield North sales manager, Joyce Hadden, suggested that the Elgin-based firm would be open to helping the youngsters achieve their aim.
She said: “It is good to hear that the community are working together.
“We will support them to achieve their goal where we can and would encourage them to contact us.”