Super Saturday as new pump track and play area open

Last Updated: 18 November 2021

An Olympic BMX rider has helped to declare an exciting new £50,000 pump track and £120,000 play area officially open.

Kyle Evans, who rode for Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was a reserve athlete at the London 2012 Olympics wowed the crowds at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the pump track and refurbished playground at Queen’s Park, Windermere.

Saturday’s celebrations marked the fruition of four years’ hard work and fundraising by South Lakeland District Council (SLDC), which owns the park, and community group Windermere Park For All.

Dozens of local families turned out to cheer Kyle on as he gave a demonstration on the new cycling circuit at Queen’s Park, known locally as “The Rec”. The pump track was constructed by Clark & Kent Contractors, who created the London 2012 Olympics BMX track. The circuit of rollers, hills and camel humps at Queen’s Park is designed to appeal to riders of any age and ability, with cyclists “pumping” their bikes along using up-and-down body movements rather than pedalling or pushing.

Olympic BMX athlete Kyle Evans at the Queen's Park pump track
Local BMX rider and Windermere Park For All committee member Morgan Doughty in action at the pump track

“We are all very proud to have a project on the ground in the beautiful landscape of Windermere,” said Olympic BMX athlete Kyle Evans, 28, who retired from the sport after being crowned European Champion in 2018, and now works for Clark & Kent Contractors on projects around the country.

Kyle, who hails from Wigan, said the circuit’s design was partly inspired by the “hilly and beautiful” Lake District landscape, such as the distinctive corner with four rollers on the approach, which gives the impression of “riding a wave”. He said: “It’s something you wouldn’t experience at a usual pump track and it’s a standout feature that makes Windermere very enjoyable.

“The opening was a fantastic success and it was great to see around 50 people of all ages and abilities riding the pump track, not just on BMXs but people on mountain bikes and little kids on scooters. We look forward to seeing the facility getting used and bringing lots of enjoyment to the community.”

Kyle continued: “My best advice to anyone would be to get yourself a bike, a skateboard, whatever you feel most comfortable taking part on, get a helmet and just go and give it a go. The chances are there will be a user group around the facility and the pump track community are very easy-going, very friendly. Don’t be worried – there will be people there who will happily give a helping hand when it comes to getting the experience to take that first step onto the course.”

South Lakeland district councillor Cllr Ben Berry cutting the ribbon to open the pump track
SLDC's Cllr Ben Berry cutting the ribbon to open the pump track

SLDC's Cllr Ben Berry cutting the ribbon to open the pump track

South Lakeland district councillor Cllr Ben Berry, who is also chair of Windermere Park For All, said: “It’s been great to see the community get behind us and I’m incredibly excited to see it come to fruition and get to use it myself with my family.

“We literally couldn’t have done it without the support of the community and I say special thanks to all our funders: British Cycling, the Dulverton Trust, the Holehird Trust and English Lakes Hotels’ charity initiative, Sam’s Club.”

Cllr Berry, who cut the ribbon at the pump track, continued: “When we set out on our mission over four years ago, we wanted to not only refurbish and refresh, but to bring new facilities and new enjoyment to our park.

“The official opening of our new playground and pump track is a massive milestone in our goal. Our next step being to replace and rebuild our skate park into a modern facility fit for an entire generation.”

Councillor Philip Dixon, SLDC Portfolio Holder for Customer and Locality Services, added: “The new pump track at Queen's Park is a great place for kids to go and have creative outdoor fun rather than just sitting at home in front of a screen. SLDC officers have worked really well with the Windermere Park For All community group and the generous funders to put in place something that is really enriching the community.”

The refurbished play area at Queen’s Park opened in July 2021 and its £120,000 overhaul was jointly funded by SLDC; the National Lottery Community Fund; Windermere and Bowness Town Council; Cumbria County Council; Windermere, Ambleside and District Round Table; district councillors; the Frieda Scott Charitable Trust; Impact Housing; the Hadfield Trust; South Lakes Housing; the Bryan Lancaster Trust; Gateway Group; Lakeland; the Lake District Communities Fund; local businesses and local fundraising activities.

The ribbon at the new-look playground was cut by local schoolgirl Molly Lawrence, who designed the rainbow logo for community group Windermere Park For All.

Schoolgirl Molly Lawrence cutting the ribbon to open the new play area
Schoolgirl Molly Lawrence cutting the ribbon to open the new play area

Amy Thompson, the group’s publicity officer, said: “We were thrilled that so many people came out to celebrate the opening of the new playground and pump track. The whole morning was lovely and we are so happy that the local community are enjoying the new space so much.

“It was fantastic having playground equipment supplier Proludic and Clark and Kent there as well as Kyle Evans. His demonstrations were loved by all and truly inspired the next generation of riders.

“We also raised more than £580 for the new skate park appeal. It's a long way off but every penny counts.”

If anyone would like to donate or help with fundraising to replace the 20-year-old skate park, please contact Amy Thompson via the group’s website www.windermereparkforall.co.uk or visit the Facebook page Windermere Park For All.