New Hainault Forest playground crowns £1.7m play investment


A newly built playground at Hainault Forest is now open, marking the final phase of a £ 1.7m investment programme to improve and transform play areas across the borough of Redbridge.

The investment has delivered new playgrounds in Clayhall Park, Brocket Way Park and Ray Lodge Park, in addition to playground equipment upgrades at Christchurch Green, Valentines Park, Loxford Park, Seven Kings Park, South Park and Westwood Recreation Ground.

The new play installations will tell the story of the site – from the beacon towers to the hermit’s hut – providing children with a range of sensory experiences and play spaces to play physically, imaginatively, and collaboratively.

All play equipment is made from natural wood taking inspiration from the surrounding Forest and its royal history as a Tudor hunting ground. The outdoor play installations complement the storytelling experience that children can discover at the indoor exhibition in the neighbouring barns. The new playground is also home to the biggest slide in Redbridge.

The new play area is next to the Forest Centre, Woodland Trust Visitor Centre which opened in April, and the family-friendly indoor interpretation space.

The completion of the playground is part of the final phase of the £7m Hainault Forest restoration project, which has seen the reconstruction of the Victorian barns, which now boast a range of new features and facilities.

Cllr Kam Rai, Deputy Leader of Redbridge Council, said: “The transformation of Hainault Forest is another example of the work we’re doing to make Redbridge the best place to live, work and visit.

“The opening of the new playground marks the final stage of our ambitious £ 1.7 million playground investment programme, giving local families fun, safe and interactive spaces to enjoy across our borough.

“Hainault Forest is one of London’s hidden gems, and thanks to our investment, we’re now offering families a richer and more rewarding experience with brand-new facilities that people of all ages will enjoy for years to come.

“We’re sure children will be over the new moon they see the new playground for the first time, giving parents a chance to unwind with a coffee or snack in our new cafe surrounded by nature and beautiful scenery. Hainault Forest provides the perfect day out.”

Chair of Vision Trustees Martin Solder said: “I would like to personally thank all the staff involved for all their hard work and dedication to ensure the new play area is open in time for the children to enjoy over the summer holidays and beyond.”

“With the cost of living crisis, this new adventure play facility gives the children something new to enjoy over the holidays for free!”

This new playground is thanks to funding from Redbridge Council, National Lottery Heritage Fund, and the Mayor of London, all part of the Hainault Restoration Project.

See this story on the Redbridge Council website here.

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