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Oxfordshire Council Begin £300,000 Revamp of Riverside Area with Playground

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The riverside play area at Abbey Meadow in Abington is set to give the playground a new lease of life. In early January work began on a £300,000 project to revamp the existing playground. District Councillor Charlotte Dickson was onsite to mark the event, saying that she was delighted that the project was underway.

The project will be providing local youngsters with an exciting range of new play equipment. One exciting feature consists of a climbing area based on the town’s old abbey. There will also be a feature depicting a river complete with a boat and miniature Abington lock, along which children can walk. The children can also look forward to a sensory play area with a play garden, a broad slide, trampoline and an informal play area for activities like ball games. The park will also include regular play equipment like swings, a roundabout, climbing net and a zip line.

Dickson said that she is really looking forward to seeing young children playing on the equipment when the park reopens later this year. While the project is underway the old play area will be closed to the public. The council plans to complete the new playground by this summer, with the addition of new public toilets later in the year.

District Council leader Matthew Barber joined Dickson at the new site, pointing out that this is one of several projects of its kind in the area. Last year the council provided new play equipment in Faringdon and Wantage.

These projects display the Oxfordshire council’s commitment to providing local children with the opportunity to experience the joy of outdoor play. Across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom councils, schools and local communities are experiencing a renewed interest in providing quality play areas for children. This is in keeping with a worldwide trend in realising the benefits that outdoor play presents for a child’s development.

Research has shown that children who spend at least one hour per day playing outdoors show increased development of motor skills, improved concentration and improved social skills. Parents and teachers are encouraging children to spend more time on the playground, getting involved in healthy play activities.

Projects like Abbey Meadow’s show that city councils are taking the call to provide safe and stimulating play areas for children seriously. This is an encouraging sign for parents, who have indicated that there are not enough areas where urban children can experience the benefit of outdoor play.

Over the past few years many local councils have provided funding for the upgrading of playground equipment and facilities. It is hoped that many more will follow this example. Investing in the wellbeing and development of children today, will ensure a better future for the country. Healthy happy children will grow to become eager and productive adults, which will be an asset to society.

We can be sure that the children of Abington will experience many years of joy from the new playground equipment at the park. This should encourage them to spend more time experiencing the benefits that this type stimulation provides.