A CHILDMINDER has called for improvements to a Bury park after she claimed it was in such a poor state it deters her off from using it.

Catherine Thorley has raised concerns about the litter, graffiti, dog mess and ‘unsuitable’ play equipment at Whitehead Park, which is sited off Ainsworth Road and Newbold Street.

The mother-of-two, aged 40, of David Street, works with children aged from 12 months to 10 years, and visits the park every week.

But she said: “It’s just horrible — I’ve never seen anything like it.

“There’s mud everywhere, small children can’t use the equipment because it’s too dangerous, it’s full of litter and the kids can’t even play on the field because it’s full of dog muck. It’s not a nice place to go.

“I normally use it around three times a week and it’s a shame to see it like this.

“I don’t know if the council visit the park and clean up often, but it doesn’t look like it to me.”

Mrs Thorley was part of a group of parents in the area who rallied together to get the park re-opened around three years ago.

Last year, Whitehead Park was one of 12 parks in Bury to receive the coveted Green Flag award from Keep Britain Tidy, which recognises well maintained and managed parks that have an excellent community involvement.

But Mrs Thorley says that, over the years, the park has gone through a steady decline and she wants to see it returned to its former state.

She said: “My daughter used to enjoy using the park when she was younger.

“It wasn’t perfect, but it was clean and tidy. The damage that’s been done to the park is disgusting.

A Bury Council spokesman said: “Whitehead Park, like all our main parks, has enjoyed significant investment over the years, and is nationally recognised as a Green Flag park for its high standards.

“Sadly, there are some people who have no respect for their neighbourhood, and drop litter, scrawl graffiti and let their dogs foul the grass, spoiling the environment for everyone else in the community.

“We will continue to do our best to maintain standards despite severe budget cuts.

“We urge residents to report any incidents they witness, with as much detail as possible, to our customer contact team so that we can target our resources at locations and at times when offences are most likely to be carried out.”