A local builder saved the day when a Sherston pre-school’s outdoor play area dreams looked set to turn to disaster.

After a successful year of fundraising, Busy Hands Pre-school’s staff and parent committee decided to resurface the small area at the front of the village hall – from where it operates – to provide a safe, stimulating outdoor area for their children to enjoy throughout the year.

Negotiations with the village hall followed and, after discounting tarmac as an expensive and unexciting option, artificial grass was decided upon. Local company Easigrass arrived at the village hall in September to start what was intended to be a two-day job, but after digging into the ground they encountered a number of issues, including large tree trunks and the remains of a wall.

Play leader Kate Adams said: “We needed to dig to get the Astroturf in line with the tarmac. We called Gareth, who had his digger and came to the rescue. He spent the whole day digging to even the surface. He was amazing.”

Local builder Gareth Williams, of Virtus Con-struction, was happy to step in and save the project with his digger. He said: “I was working for a friend whose child goes to the pre-school. I had a phone call saying they were having grass put in and could I look at taking a bit out for them, and then on the day the company said they couldn’t get rid of the earth. “I just so happened to have my digger in the area so I went and got rid of it – there was about two skips worth. “It’s fortunate I had my stuff locally.”

Mrs Adams said: “Martin Rae, chairman of the parish council, was very accommodating and thanks also goes to Annie Llewellen Palmer, chairman of the committee, who worked very hard, and the committee members. “It was just brilliant with everyone mucking in. There was a real sense of community.”

The outdoor play area now features Astroturf, a tyre set into the ground, tree trunks donated by Westonbirt Arboretum and a wooden playhouse from Andrew Fuller.