From sustainable projects to a skate park – wheels are rolling on Aldergrove adaptations.

It’s an exciting time at Aldergrove in Northern Ireland with some major developments planned for two sites where old quarters once stood. AFF’s Northern Ireland regional lead has been finding out what’s in store…

The chain of command has taken ideas and suggestions from soldiers and families living in the area to develop the sites.

Military spouse Becky says: “It’s lovely that ideas and suggestions from families are being made a reality. I think it will really boost community morale, creating more for families to do, especially considering the isolation of where we live.”

Site 1 will be developed into an active sports area with a mountain bike track and skate park, while Site 2 is a large open space which has been allocated for the development of community-led projects.

Ideas include community allotments, a traditional Irish wildflower meadow, beehives, a small orchard and the planting of some native trees. The existing road infrastructure will be left in place and de-motorised creating a safe space or ‘greenway’ for children to ride their bikes and scooters.

Many of the ideas presented are ecologically friendly and will increase biodiversity. The Aldergrove community is
keen to create sustainable projects that will not only improve the local environment but also the physical and mental wellbeing of serving personnel and their families.

Everyone’s a winner
The community also wants to create picnic areas, spaces for wild play, outdoor arts and crafts and even a camping zone complete with a firepit and barbecue areas.

Aldergrove resident Thalia adds: “It’s a very exciting time as several developments are happening on camp which will benefit all. Seeing ideas come to life is fantastic and a proper morale booster. They will be enjoyed by the community for years to come.”

There’s now an Aldergrove committee which is working with the chain of command to drive the project forward.

Faye, a spouse living at Aldergrove, believes it will bring the community even closer after what has been a challenging time.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to regenerate an empty, derelict space that would otherwise just be left,” she says.

It’s hoped the mountain bike track and skate park will be up and running soon after Easter, with the rest of the project beginning later in the spring.

If you’re posted to Northern Ireland and want to find out more about the developments, send an email to ni@aff.org.uk

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