DIY SOS made last minute changes to site after being burned down twice by evil vandals

Presenter Nick Knowles and the DIY SOS team are in Southmead, Bristol on tonight’s episode to help rebuild an adventure playground that is no longer fit for purpose after being subjected to disgusting abuse

The DIY SOS team went to an adventure playground in Bristol
The DIY SOS team went to an adventure playground in Bristol

An adventure playground that appeared on DIY SOS tonight has a rather traumatic storyline.

The site in Southmead, Bristol, fell into disrepair after a series of troubling events and was completely unfit for purpose.

Known locally as The Ranch, Bristol’s oldest adventure playground was built by the community and has been enjoyed and used well by generations of local residents.

However, it endured a brutal hard times over the years as it burned down by vile vandals, brought locals to tears, and had to be rebuilt on two separate occasions.

That’s not the only major hurdle The Ranch has faced, as the council slashed funds to play delivery in 2013 and the playground threatened to close in 2018.

The Southmead Development Trust, a resident-led charity that works to improve health, happiness and jobs and help keep communities strong, resilient and resourceful, has bravely taken over the governance. run The Ranch.

Of course DIY SOS legend Billy Byrne was there



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They wanted to rent it out and run a ‘skeleton service’ in an effort to re-establish it in the local community – but before they could raise enough funds there was more bad news.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, people made the decision to close the risky playground and there were concerns that it would never open again.

The most recent arson attack occurred in May last year when fire crews extinguished a fire that was believed to have ignited intentionally underneath one of the wooden stairs.

James Creed, a youth group leader at the famous establishment, told Bristol Live: “It left all of us feeling extremely disappointed and sad. This is a truly precious space.

“We’re a small charity and everything we do is through fundraising. We don’t have a lot of money to deal with things like this.”

However, everything changed when host Nick Knowles and the DIY SOS team arrived in Bristol with an army of volunteers.

The farm got a much-needed change


@ SouthmeadAdventurePlayground / Facebook)

Ranch actually had a bit of luck when they were cast on the show as a replacement for a previously planned story.

Lil, one of the playworkes’ organizations, described it as a “miracle” and the team quickly sought labor and material donations, while the Trust was able to pledge funding to pay for the portion. rest.

Skilled craftsmen from the local community and across the UK have descended to revitalize The Ranch for future generations.

It was a big project that required the team and volunteers to work for 9 grueling days and nights last October.

They cleared the bush, restored marsh ponds and renovated the landscape, adding an outdoor classroom complete with a fire pit to their Forest School.

A variety of new structures have been added to provide thrills – from giant swings to terrifying ‘death’ slides.

The once damaged sports field has been razed and recreated into an all-weather multi-game field and outdoor relaxation areas have been added.

But one of the coolest parts of the new venues is a high-end recording studio and a live music booth in an old container.

After construction, Nick tweeted: “Thank you to all the builders and different professions, vendors, fire and police services and volunteers who have spent the last ten days in Southmead Bristol to rebuild the Farm.

“You will have a positive influence on many young lives. It has been an honor to work with all of you.”

Responding to the Southmead Development Trust’s Twitter post of thanks, he added: “Just continue the great work you’re doing in giving children a voice, a sense of their own abilities, options. Choose and different paths to perform and often take a break after the hardships.

“We’re simply giving you the tools to continue the great work you’re doing.”

Filming took place last October and the final episode will air tonight on BBC One.

Nick and the team on the day of filming



Amy Kinnear, CEO of Southmead Development’s Trust, said: “Never before has the mental and physical health of children more important than when all of our young people are recovering from the pandemic. Children in Bristol flock to our adventure playgrounds to play, get fit, reconnect, access free hot food and challenge themselves.

“We work closely with other organizations in Bristol as part of a network called Playful Bristol. This means that our communities are closely linked and we can help each other in all aspects of youth and play.

“The DIY SOS renovation is a boost to all of our Adventure Playgrounds in the City because each playground’s story is the same: playgrounds are an important part of our community. and indispensable for children as they play, learn and grow. They must be kept secure, up to date and staffed appropriately.

“The project has given us a real boost and we can’t wait to see the show launch. However, the morning after the show airs, we’ll be back on earth with a push to continue the incredibly hard and expensive job of running a site as big as The Ranch. We wanted to increase our opening hours and keep our lovely site in good condition for generations to come – we couldn’t take our eyes off the fundraising for a second. If you can help anyway, please consider supporting us or your local Bristol adventure playground. “

* DIY SOS: The Big Build airs tonight on BBC One at 9pm

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