Village school delighted with woodchip donation from top timber company

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Clifford Jones Timber at Bwlchgwyn School Sarah Jones Smith, director of Clifford Jones Timber has presented woodchip for the playground to Bwlchgwyn School where her daughter Eira is a pupil. Sarah is pictured with pupils and headteacher Sue Williams.

 

A VILLAGE primary school has been given a huge boost to their playground thanks to a generous donation from a top timber company.

Bwlchgwyn Primary School pupils are celebrating the fact that their play area now has a new lease of life after Ruthin-based Clifford Jones Timber delivered ten tons of woodchip to the youngsters.

The gift has enabled them to play in outdoor areas that were previously inaccessible for much of the year due to being damp and boggy, and the whole school is delighted.

Head teacher Susan Williams said: “We are so, so grateful to Clifford Jones. We wanted to develop the foundation area of our playground which was extremely muddy and the children couldn’t use it all year round as we are really quite damp round here.

“So they often just had to play on the hard areas but now they absolutely love it!”

Sarah Smith, director of Clifford Jones, has a little girl at the school and was aware of the soggy problems the youngsters often faced at playtime.

She said: “I knew the school was thinking of improving the area and that they were after some woodchip which we have plenty of as a bi-product of the fence posts we make.

“I suggested that we could donate some and in the end we delivered two loads to them, which is about 10 tons.

“It’s a great surface for them now and should last several years. It is not treated in any way so it’s all natural which is good to know when the little ones are playing in it, and it’s quite a safe, spongy surface for them – it’s quite forgiving.”

The woodchip would normally be processed into fuel pellets or animal bedding products at Clifford Jones Timber, a company started in 1948 by Sarah’s grandfather and the largest producer of fence posts in the UK.

Sarah, whose father Alan now runs the family business and brother Richard is a fellow director, lives just a few doors away from the primary school in Bwlchgwyn with her husband Martin and children Beatrix, aged four, and Eira, two.

She said: “The children are so happy with it, it’s brilliant. We thought it would be quite a nice gesture as it benefits everyone really and would have cost them about £500.

“They’ve added some bits and bobs too – tyres and climbing things so it looks great.”

Bwlchgwyn Primary School has just under 100 youngsters on role, and for a small rural primary finding the money to improve play areas is always a challenge.

Susan said: “It would have been quite an expensive thing for us to do and we are really, really appreciative of the support they have shown for the school.

“The children love it. They play on it, dig in it, collect it up, have it down their tops and in their socks – it’s perfect.

“For us it’s an important area for them to play and to use their imaginations. We have tyres and tarpaulins there for them to make tents with and the games they come up with are never-ending.

“When it was delivered we got all the parents to come down and bring their wheelbarrows and between us all we had it spread about and in place in no time.

“Clifford Jones Timber have made a big difference to us and I can’t say how happy we are,” added Susan.