The Vale of White Horse District Council have announced a phased re-opening of their play areas beginning on Monday 6th July.
Safety checks will need to be carried out to make sure equipment is safe for people to use, after being unused for over three months. The first play area to re-open will be at Abbey Meadow in Abingdon, followed by others across the town.
Visitors will be urged to stay safe by following a few simple instructions which are being introduced to reduce the risk of people transmitting COVID-19. People are asked to:
* wash or sanitise their hands before entering the play area and then again after they leave;
* come back at a quieter time, if the play area is busy;
* follow social distancing.
* The council is also asking that only one adult per child is in the play area at a time.
If anyone notices any issues with a Vale play area they are asked to report it by calling 01235 422404 or by emailing email@example.com. To report anti-social behaviour – call 101.
About half the play parks in Abingdon are run by the Vale and half by Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council. Their re-opening will be managed separately.
I went for an early walk this morning and passed through Southern Town Park – a large, enclosed park with basketball court, and lots of grass and young woodland.
There are still some methane vent pipes along the side by the houses of Andersey Way to show it was once a waste tip. Remembering back to twenty five years ago, there was a rather poor swing and a seesaw which were not enclosed, and then emptiness like you were at the end of the world.
Nowadays there are giant sand pits, a net swing, various climbing frames, picnic tables, and a zip wire, although this morning the cradle was not there – so probably being repaired.
There is also the area where the original play equipment was, although that was improved, and then refurbished again about eight years ago.
Woodland next to the park has become well established, and the rugby/football/ tennis clubs are opposite; the marina and marina park are close, as are walks by the River Thames.
The park is managed by the local Vale of the Vale of the White Horse District Council (VWHDC), while Abingdon Green Gym regularly hold work parties there. I see they will be there on March 24th, wild flower planting and litter picking.
Southern Town Park is at the southern edge of Abingdon on a former landfill site beyond the houses. At 9:30am this morning cars were arriving with dads and mums bringing their children to rugby practice at Abingdon RUFC. The car park was getting full, and cars were starting to park in the road.
The play park beyond the Sunny Vale of White Horse District sign was deserted at that hour so I took a few pictures.
There was little more than a couple of broken swings and a makeshift seesaw when we first visited with our children 25 years ago. It felt like a derelict out of season place.
Now there is a colourful fenced off area with little spring rockers, climbing apparatus, swings, and slides.
There is also a more rugged looking adventure play area with a zip chord, big swing, a series of pieces of equipment to climb across in sequence,
and a sand pit with large rocks, tree trunks and several springy circular boards.
There is also a basketball court. The backboards were painted by a brought in grafitti artist, with help from young children, about ten years ago, That original graffitti art has faded and been added to by the more usual graffitti of the area …
‘OX14’ and ‘SAKY’.