South Yorkshire children celebrate re-opening of park play area

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Children from Redscope Primary School are jumping for joy after officially re-opening Barkers Park play area.

Accompanied by the mayor Councillor Maggi Clark and consort Peter Clark, four children - Lee White (7), Brooke Hall (7), Callum Phillips (7) and Emily Kurti (6) - cut the ribbon to mark the park’s refurbishment, before they were joined by classmates for some fun play time away from school.

The play area was closed following damage to the safety surfacing in 2015 and substantial repairs have since been undertaken by Rotherham Council’s Green Spaces team.

Redscope Primary school was invited to the re-opening after children wrote to the Mayor expressing how much they missed playing in the park whilst funds were being sought for its refurbishment.

The play area has now been fitted with robust ground surface material. The Dura Sport covering, which contains sand, had previously been tested in a small area at Coronation Park, and has proven to be more resistant to damage.

On seeing the newly-refurbished park, Sienna Bennett, (6), said: “I can’t wait to go to the park after school, I’m so excited it’s been fixed!” whilst Lily-May Taylor, (7), added: “This is the best day of my life.”

Teacher Emmie Taylor said: “The children were so upset when the park was vandalised. We’re all so glad that it has been restored and our community has the playground back.”

After receiving the children’s letters earlier in the year, the Mayor personally wrote back to all the children to thank them and to let them know about the plans for the future refurbishment of the park.

Councillor Clark added: “This really is about ‘pupil power’. After reading the letters, we knew we had to do something to ensure the children had somewhere to play outside school. The play area is such a loved, local community asset, and you can see here today how much fun the children are having playing in the park.

“We are delighted to be here to re-open the play area and I’m honoured to have been invited to help the children cut the ribbon.”

*Barkers Park is a seventy acre park with a play area, a multi-use games area, bowling green, and four football pitches.