Campaigners gain greenlight on Wanstead Park playground plans

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:27 16 July 2018

The Temple Wanstead Park. Photo: City of London Corporation

The Temple Wanstead Park. Photo: City of London Corporation


Parents campaigning to create a natural playground in Wanstead Park have received the blessing of the City of London Corporation to put together a detailed proposal.

Members of the Aldersbrook Playground Campaign presented initial proposals to the City of London’s Epping Forest commons committee on Monday July 9.

The play area is proposed be located near to the temple, at the end of Warren Road, which had previously been recognised by Redbridge Council as an area of play deprivation.

A playground design plan submitted to the committee includes several examples of climbing structures and obstacle courses using natural materials such as wood and rope to be in keeping with the surrounding area.

It is also suggested that there be a pop-up cafe to help towards the financial viabiliy of the project.

The group’s Amy Unsworth said: “We are delighted that the city of London’s Epping Forest and commons committee has given the green light to proceed with plans for a natural play area in Wanstead Park which would be designed to complement the natural environment and heritage of the park in an unobtrusive site.

“We look forward to working with Redbridge Council and the City of London to develop these plans.

“We hope to consult the local community on designs later this year.”

As next step the group will also be looking at ways to raise funds for creating the playground.

The Aldersbrook Playground Campaign has been running for the last three years and, by January 2016, had gained the backing of Redbridge Council leader Jas Athwal after gathering a petition with more than 400 signatures in support.

Philip Woodhouse, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Epping Forest Management Committee, said: “We recognise that there is a long standing desire for a play area in the community.

“Many children enjoy playing in the Forest’s natural environment through climbing on fallen trees and engaging with the local wildlife. 
“We want to preserve the ‘natural aspect’ of the Forest.

“The proposal from the Aldersbrook Playground Campaign met the requirements needed to be considered as an exception to the presumption against built play facilities. It could play an important role in introducing the next generation to the Park and Epping Forest.

“The next stage is for a more detailed proposal with suitable funding to be presented to the Epping Forest and City Commons Committee at a later date.”

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