Children in Lambeth can look forward to a taste of the beach this summer following the opening of an exciting new water park.
The brand new children’s water play area in Brockwell Park comes complete with a paddling pool, rock pools, a stream and a sand pit and will provide a fantastic new place for children and their families to play in one of south London’s best loved parks.
The water play area has loads of features for young people to explore, and includes grassed areas where families can relax with new trees providing shade.
Lucky pupils from nearby Fenstanton Primary School, Tulse Hill, were the first to try out the new water play area when it opened for the first time on Friday 6 May.
Costing approximately £360,000, it has been funded by Lambeth Council, the Big Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Dick Sheppard Trust.
Councillor Florence Nosegbe, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and the 2012 Games, said: “On a warm day I can’t imagine many places better for children and their families to come and play and enjoy themselves. This is a tremendous new facility and I can’t wait to see it being properly used. Play is vital part of growing up and integral to a child’s development. It helps children learn about themselves, the world in which they live, and how to relate to others and build social skills. This new water park provides the perfect environment for children to have fun and learn at the same time, so I’m delighted to see it being opened. I only wish I had been able to play in water play area like this when I was younger!”
Sue Bowers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in London, said: “It’s great news that this new and exciting part of the wider Brockwell Park redevelopment project has now been completed. It will be a great asset to this muchloved park and I’m sure it will be well used by local children and encourage them and their families to come in and enjoy everything this precious green space has to offer.”
The new wet play area is just one feature of a major restoration of Brockwell Park that has been underway since 2008. Lambeth Council is working with a wide range of partners through the Brockwell Park Management Advisory Committee (BPMAC), and secured £3.5 million in July 2008 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) through their ‘Parks for People England’ grant scheme, which is jointly supported by the HLF and the Big Lottery Fund (BiG).
The council match funded this with £1 million, which is paying for the repair, replacement and restoration of the heritage, community and cultural elements of the park, alongside funding from other sources for improving play, sports and access to wildlife.
The work includes relaying paths to make them level and safe, improvements to the walled garden and the toilets, refurbishment of the classical temple, repairing pergolas and shelters and replacing other structures such as fences and railings.
Major work is also taking place around the ponds to improve them as a habitat for wildlife.
Other activity includes developing an ‘eco-health’ programme in the park and the installation of new fitness equipment, an arts and events programme for local people focusing on the heritage of the park, and a schools education programme for young people to learn about the heritage and ecology of the area.
The Brockwell Park Water Play area was opened by Councillor Florence Nosegbe, and Wesley Kerr, Chair of the London Committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund, on Friday 6 May.