Britain’s most northerly crazy golf course officially opens in Orkney this weekend, marking the culmination of a year-long effort by an island community.
The 12-hole course in Burray depicts famous islands landmarks, including the Old Man of Hoy, Skara Brae stone-age village and Scapa Flow.
The course is part of a new £74,000 community park development in Burray village, which includes a trim-track, custom made slide, swings, picnic area, barbeque and toilet block. The park is free to use and accessible year round.
Funding for the park has come from Orkney Islands Council, Sport Scotland Legacy 2014, Awards for All and Scottish Sea Farms. The 400-strong Burray community has raised over £8,000 towards the project costs, with local people stepping in to provide expertise, labour and materials. A number of businesses in the area have also contributed to the project.
A competition was held last year for local schoolchildren to design holes and obstacles for the crazy golf course using an Orcadian theme. Orkney based architect Paul Green incorporated the 12 winning entries into his plans for the park, with the local community consulted at every stage of the design process.
Convener of Orkney Islands Council, Councillor Steven Heddle, will officially open the crazy golf course and park on Saturday (23 April). Local musician Douglas Montgomery will formally open the trim-track.
All the youngsters in Burray Primary School are being presented with a golf putter and ball to encourage them to use the new facility. Putters are also available to hire locally for a small fee, with community leaders hoping the new park will become popular with holidaymakers, and people from other parts of Orkney.
“This has been a community-wide effort from the start and we’re all absolutely delighted to see the park completed,” said Pam Woodcock, secretary of the Burray Community Association. “We wanted to create an area in the village that could be enjoyed by all ages, with ‘pushchair to pensioner’ our mantra throughout the design and construction processes. We were also determined that it should be as accessible as possible, with no economic barriers.
“The project has really pulled our community together over the past year, with everyone in Burray contributing towards its success,” she added. “We’re certainly confident there’s not another crazy golf course like this in the UK. It’s something that reflects our home, its history and its landscape, while also being lots of fun.
“Activities for families, even here in Orkney, can sometimes be expensive, so we hope we’ve created a place where people can come and enjoy a few hours of relaxation, or a bit of exercise, for free. It’s also a new focal point for the village and the island of Burray and we’re sure it’ll encourage more visitors to spend time in this beautiful part of Orkney.”