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Fears sparked over future of bowling green after damage

By Thomas Parkes | Stourbridge | News | Published:

Fears have been raised over the future of a bowling green at a popular park after damage was caused.

Other park users, including cricket players and motorbikers, have damaged the patch of land at Stevens Park, Wollescote – currently used by Sons of Rest to bowl.

Now members of the over 60s club have called on council bosses to install fencing around the site to prevent the damage, which could "finish" bowling there.

But a report to council bosses at Dudley Council said it would cost £30,000 and unlikely to be given the green light, over fears of accessibility for older people.

Greg Bedford, from the group, said: "We've had kids playing cricket on the green and it's caused around £2,000 worth of damage.

"Footballers, when they come on, they wear flat shoes so it's fine but cricket is killing it.

"We're trying to stop all the vandalism on the green but there's one or two against it."

A two-metre high fence around the crown green, which lies in front of the Grade II-listed Wollescote Hall, could stretch around 171 metres.

A conservation officer also said the height of the fencing would "not be appropriate".

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Another option, which will be discussed at the Ernest Stevens Trusts Management Committee on Wednesday, could see cricket facilities improved in a bid to tackle the damage.

Fencing could also be introduced around the hall itself, which has been targeted by vandalism and metal theft in the past – at a cost of £125,000.

The 70-year-old added: "Eventually, if nothing is done, it will finish us bowling there.

"It will just ruin it and we've even had bikers on it."

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A total of 40 members use the bowling green for the activity on Monday, Tuesday and Friday.

The club was formed around the late 80s, which "never had the sort of vandalism" the part of land has seen today.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for environmental, highways and street services, said: “The council is aware of recent concerns raised by the Sons of Rest regarding anti-social behaviour on the crown bowling green.

“Further to this, discussions regarding this matter will be on the agenda at the next Ernest Stevens Trust Management Committee to look at potential options that could be considered to improve matters.

“Any necessary repairs to the green will be undertaken as part of future maintenance works.”

Thomas Parkes

By Thomas Parkes
Trainee Reporter - @TParkes_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch at thomas.parkes@expressandstar.co.uk.

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