Urgent call for pond safety measures

Councillors Paul Wharton and Mike Otter, with Harry Wareing of the New Farington Anglers
Councillors Paul Wharton and Mike Otter, with Harry Wareing of the New Farington Anglers

Calls are being made for warning signs to placed around a large pond in a Leyland park to ensure children don’t play near the water.

Farington parish councillor Paul Wharton is asking South Ribble Council to put up signs around the fishing pond in Farington Park, off Stanifield Lane, before any accidents happen.

He said: “There has been a lot of publicity about open water space and there have been some tragic accidents in the area recently, so we want to make sure we do all we can to stop it from happening in Farington.

“There have been a lot of improvement work in the park from the council, so it just makes sense to do this one last thing, warning people of the dangers of playing in or near the water.”

In 2011, Chorley teen Dylan Ramsey died after swimming with friends in Hill Top Quarry in Whittle-le-Woods, and last May, 15-year-old Thomas Barton, also from Chorley, drowned at Birkacre Brow, part of the Yarrow Valley Country Park.

Warning signs have since been put up in both locations, but Coun Wharton wants to put measures in place in Farington before it’s too late.

“Thankfully we haven’t had anything as terrible in Leyland,” he said. “But it only takes one incident.”

The idea is supported by fellow parish councillor Mike Otter, who said: “The area is very well used by parents and children, but the pond is mainly used by an angling group.

“South Ribble Council is due to carry out some remedial works to the embankment this summer, so it would be a good opportunity to add the signs.”

Coun Peter Mullineaux, the council’s cabinet member with responsibility for neighbourhoods and street scene, responded: “The council has carried out extensive improvement work at Farington Park over the past year, including revamping the playground and installing new footpaths, fencing and landscaping.

“As part of our ongoing maintenance work, we will shortly be putting up new notice boards at the park entrances which will feature a symbol warning of a deep water hazard in the park.

“We will also consider whether additional warning signs are needed near the pond when we carry out improvement works to the pond banking over the summer period.”