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New eco-gym gives users chance to pedal and charge phone at same time

PUBLISHED: 12:18 10 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:06 10 August 2019

Norfolk's first eco-gym opens in Memorial Park, North Walsham. Craig Potter, six, on an energy hand-bike. Pictures: David Bale

Norfolk's first eco-gym opens in Memorial Park, North Walsham. Craig Potter, six, on an energy hand-bike. Pictures: David Bale

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The first eco-gym in the county has opened in a North Walsham park.

Norfolk's first eco-gym opens in North Walsham.  Mary Seward using the new equipment at Memorial Park. Pictures: David BaleNorfolk's first eco-gym opens in North Walsham. Mary Seward using the new equipment at Memorial Park. Pictures: David Bale

It means that people can now charge their phones while pedalling on an exercise bike in the open air.

The 13-piece outside gym at the town's Memorial Park in New Road includes pieces of exercise equipment that generate electricity which people can use to charge their devices.

It's the brainchild of the community group, North Walsham Play, which was formed in 2016 to bring new and exciting play parks to the town.

The group's founder and trustee Matt Smith said: "The new eco-gym cost £32,000.

Norfolk's first eco-gym opens in North Walsham. Town mayor Garry Bull using the new equipment at Memorial Park. Pictures: David BaleNorfolk's first eco-gym opens in North Walsham. Town mayor Garry Bull using the new equipment at Memorial Park. Pictures: David Bale

"It's the first energy-generating gym in Norfolk. We wanted something that young people and adults could both use.

"We are working with local surgeries to encourage people to use it for the health benefits.

"It works just like a UK plug socket, so two hours' exercise should fully charge your phone."

Equipment on site includes cross trainer workouts, exercise bikes, push-up bars, Olympic bars and workbenches, among others.

Norfolk's first eco-gym opens in North Walsham. Matt Smith introducing the new equipment at Memorial Park. Pictures: David BaleNorfolk's first eco-gym opens in North Walsham. Matt Smith introducing the new equipment at Memorial Park. Pictures: David Bale

Mr Smith added: "The eco-gym sits next to the second play park we opened, also in Memorial Park, in December 2018. That cost £90,000 and boasts some of the best equipment in north Norfolk in terms of inclusive play.

"We raised all the money for the eco-gym since last December.

"We would like to thank the People's Postcode Lottery, Sheringham Shoal, via Norfolk Community Foundations, and North Walsham Round Table, along with generous members of the community and businesses."

The official opening and ribbon-cutting at the eco-gym was held on Saturday, August 10.

Norfolk's first eco-gym opens in North Walsham. People trying out the new equipment at Memorial Park. Pictures: David BaleNorfolk's first eco-gym opens in North Walsham. People trying out the new equipment at Memorial Park. Pictures: David Bale

Town mayor Garry Bull said: "It's a real asset for the town and I hope that it's used by everybody."

North Walsham Play's objectives are to ensure that all the new play parks it supports are inclusive for children of all ages and fully accessible to all children regardless of need and/or ability.

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The charity wants to make North Walsham a 'go to' destination for families looking for new and exciting play equipment in north Norfolk.

Its first play park at Woodville Park, just off Hadfield Road, cost £40,000 and opened in June 2017.

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