Horndean villagers can work out in the fresh air at outdoor gyms

From broken bones to new beginnings

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NOT many villages can boast an outdoor gym, let alone three.

But Horndean is now the place to go for fitness fanatics who enjoy working out in the fresh air.

Around £40,000 has been spent on building three gyms on recreation areas in the village.

The project is part of a drive by Horndean Parish Council to keep people active and give them more to do in their spare time.

A temporary skatepark, hired for £1,400 by the council, will be open for four weeks from tomorrow at the recreation ground in Five Heads Road.

The council has also set up a working party to get the ball rolling on building a permanent skatepark.

The gyms at the recreation ground and Deep Dell have been built near play equipment in the hope it will give parents something to do while their children are playing.

It follows the enormous success of the outdoor gym at Jubilee Field, off Catherington Lane.

The gym was opened last year and has now become a popular meeting place for villagers, as well as being used for cardiac rehabilitation classes.

The gyms include leg presses, chest presses, steppers and even a makeshift running machine.

They are heavy-duty and resistant to damage from the weather.

Tracy Predeth, clerk to the parish council, said: ‘People like to keep fit and this is just something different from the normal play equipment.

‘It’s good for bringing the community together and it encourages healthy living.

‘If you go to an indoor gym, it can be quite expensive.

‘We are trying to provide something for all ages.’

The three gyms are on opposite corners of the village so that they be used by all the residents.

Some of the funding for the gyms has been provided by a £5,000 donation from Star Energy, which runs the oil extraction facility in Horndean.

Council officials are now working on plans for the skatepark, but Mrs Predeth said it was still early days.

She said: ‘We have got to go through a lot of public consultation and do some fundraising.

‘We have got a working group who have started to meet with pupils from Horndean Technology College.’