HERE'S a challenge for you, can anyone remember the last time a park was created anywhere in this part of the world? Spectator has been thinking and although there have been play areas built, usually as part of a new housing development, no traditional park springs to mind.

Concerns in Northallerton over the unused playing fields at the former Grammar School is a fascinating issue. Understandably local people are keen to see it preserved as a green area, possibly maybe a new park. The owners however, North Yorkshire county council, as far as we are aware have not said what they would like to do with it, although we have been told it is untouchable for eight years because it is an education asset.

The fear of course is that it will be sold off and end up as more housing which you get the feeling in Northallerton is definitely bottom of the wish list for most. Cash is not surprisingly the big issue here, parks as far as Spectator is aware are not big money earners, but they are seen as invaluable in so many other ways; for human beings and recreation, wildlife and the environment.

There are times in the life of a town when opportunities present themselves, most often it is because something is being knocked down and has become redundant. Northallerton councillor David Blades told town councillors this week there was a need to look at the bigger picture for the town, he was talking about the need for a bypass and closure of the High Street on market days, but it rings true across the board. This seems an ideal time to look at the whole bigger picture for the future of the county town of North Yorkshire, possibilities present themselves, parks are very popular.