Children's play park that was in 'sorry state' receives sparkling new makeover in Milton Keynes

Playtime is now much more fun for youngsters on a city estate after their recreation ground received a very welcome upgrade.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 2:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 2:10 pm

After years of neglect, the Neath Hill play area was woefully short in the fun stakes, with only a few sparse and well used attractions.

“There were always lots of kids using the space, but there just wasn't enough there for them to do,” said childminder Sam Simmons, who headed up a community group to bring about the change.

Sam approached Great Linford Parish Council (GLPC) for help, and they teamed up with Milton Keynes Council. Together they delivered a successful bid to the FCC Community Foundation who enabled the upgrade.

Childminder Sam Simmons tries out the new play equipment with fellow campaigners
Childminder Sam Simmons tries out the new play equipment with fellow campaigners

When deciding what to put in the revamped space, parents went straight to the experts – and asked the youngsters: “We asked them what they would like in their park and they specifically asked for swings; so the new park has lots of different types, together with trampolines and climbing frames," Sam said.

“This is the only play space on the estate and it helps to make us much stronger as a community. It benefits the parents and the children alike,” she added.

Securing the funding and getting the work carried out took two years, but the area at Serjeants Green is already proving a huge hit with children since re-opening on Saturday.

And being outside means it is easy to socially distance and play is safer during these challenging times.

Childminder Sam Simmons tries out the new play equipment with fellow campaigners

“This is so important to Neath Hill and the local community,” said Marc Whelan, chair of Great Linford Parish Council, “Especially as the world wakes up from lockdown and the government sets its sights on childhood obesity. This initiative is simple, to get the kids out and interacting with other children again, expelling energy and socialising.

“When the grass grows through the plastic mats and the final tweaks are made to the play park and mound it will be a great place to meet and for the kids to have fun while the adults have chat time knowing the youngsters are safe and with friends.

Marc added: “We at GLPC really hope this brings everyone together. Little did any of us realise just how much of an impact this project was going to have at the start. It is a splendid addition to the area.”