September 2012: Play features provided by London Play as part of its Access to Nature project were given a thorough testing during the public event launching the £5m transformation of Haringey’s Lordship Recreation Ground. Around 8,000 residents attended a community festival held on Saturday 22 September to mark the park’s rebirth – and the refurbished zipwire and adventure play area as well as new stepping logs and a stone circle made by London Play were all in hot demand by excited local children.
There was no shortage of playful activities on offer as children took part in pond dipping, silly races, art and craft activities, bike riding on the new BMX ‘Loop’ track, restored Model Traffic Area and skate park; and acquainted themselves with farm animals and rode donkeys. Haringey Play Association was also on hand with volunteers helping kids make paper plate gardens and get creative with paint. From certain angles, particularly looking along the new wild-flower lined channel of the Moselle river and over the festival stalls to where a hot air balloon hovered, you the view looked more ‘country fete’ than ‘urban Tottenham’.
The event was organised and co-ordinated by the Lordship Rec Users Forum, the community-led stakeholders’ organisation which has driven forward the successful regeneration of the park over the last 10 years. Some £5m of investment over the last 18 months (£4m from the Heritage Lottery Fund) has seen the construction of a new route for the River Moselle and several new bridges over it; the ‘Loop’ bike track and an environmental hub building with café and classroom, refurbishment of the Shell Theatre, restoration of the historic and nationally-unique Model Traffic Area, new meadows, flower-beds and tree planting, and general improvements to drainage, paths and entrances.
“The wealth of local talent, energy and community spirit on show at our annual festival was matched by the excellent new facilities and features in our rejuvenated park,” said Chair of the Lordship Rec Users Forum, Dave Morris. “This 10-year community-led regeneration project has demonstrated what can be achieved when residents’ own visions for the future are backed by the resources and political will we need.” London Play will add several additional natural play features in the months to come, completing £38,000 of investment in the park via the Natural England funded programme.