Date: 04/12/2008 Category: Greenspaces
Media invite: Friday, 5 December, 1.30pm. Hillyfields play area, Forge Lane, Gillingham. A giant bouncy spider’s web is the centrepiece of a new children’s play area and community park in Gillingham. On Friday, 5 December the Mayor of Medway Cllr David Carr will officially open the new park in Forge Lane. Children from Saxon Way Primary School will decorate white bean trees, which will be planted in the park to celebrate National Tree Week. Following months of consultation with residents and school children, the park has been transformed with some exciting pieces of play equipment and interesting landscaping. The site has a mixture of traditional swings and slides, challenging climbing nets, mounds, boulders, tunnels and a sandpit. The site has been designed to be all-inclusive, with a roundabout specifically for wheelchair use and a slide large enough for adults to use with children. The park also includes poetry paving that has been written by young people. A new flight of steps leading to the top tier of the site replaces a muddy slope. This improved access to an old orchard area now forms part of the community park project. The Friends of Hillyfields’ and pupils at nearby schools have helped shape the project; new entrances feature engraved paving slabs with poems written by pupils. Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services Cllr Howard Doe said: “The play area at Hillyfields Community Park has been totally re-designed into an innovative natural play area, which looks nothing like any other play area in Medway. It’s now a symbol of the work that can be achieved when a community joins forces. I am sure residents will enjoy spending time in this flagship play area.” Funding for improvements to the Hillyfields Community Park has been received from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, a developer contribution from the Gillingham Riverside Development on Pier Road, Gillingham and from Biffaward, a multi-million pound environment fund which uses landfill tax credits to support community and environmental projects.