The Lloyd Park Centre has announced the grand opening of its improved Grow Wild play space, Saturday 6 September. The space is the adventure playground that’s appeared next to the existing main Lloyd Park playground (with a gate through a tree between the two).
The Lloyd Park Centre is a charity that runs two daycare nurseries, after school club, a training agency, and does outreach and drop-in sessions for the local community at its site in the park as well as Higham Hill Children’s Centre, Chapel End Children’s Centre. The Grow Wild space opened in September 2011.
The original Grow Wild featured tunnels through bushes, insect habitats and a pebble “beach” for water play among other features. The space was designed to encourage outdoors play and play in nature, with elements of managed risk.
Now, APEs at play (Adventure Playground Engineers Ltd), who have previously worked on Skelton’s Lane in Leytonstone, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and even London Zoo’s new Tiger Territory, using money raised by the Centre, have added an extra storey to the space.
Above the existing tunnels and beach are now climbing structures and walkways that lead to a story den, music-making space, slides and more. Much of the upper level is accessible to children of all abilities – and the new features have extended the age range of the space with children from babies to 12 year olds now able to use Grow Wild.
Grow Wild’s Grand Opening is 6 September. 2–3pm for invitees to the opening ceremony; 3–5pm for public access (children wearing appropriate shoes, parents needed to supervise). “We are looking forward to welcoming everyone to experience this great adventure!” said Pauline Thomas, Chief Executive, The Lloyd Park Centre. “Come along to join in with risky play in a naturalistic environment!”
After the grand opening, Grow Wild will be open to The Lloyd Park Centre users – daycare, after school etc. – as well as holding regular drop-in weekday sessions for under 5s and anyone coming to the centre’s Saturday morning Dad’s Club. The Centre is also seeking funding for more public access sessions – including evenings and weekends. The funding is needed because the space has to be staff supervised to be open.