HE CROSSED a rope bridge, climbed tree trunks and navigated a desert to get there, but nothing but a fertile imagination was going to stop Wokingham Borough Mayor from opening his first play park.
The desert might have been a sandpit and the rope bridge just one of many attractions for children to play in, but he greatly appreciated being able to declare the play area at the new Mulberry Grove development open last Thursday.
The new play park features a basket swing, rope bridge, climbing trunks slide and trim trail and plenty of greenspace for children to play in.
Cllr Bill Soane was joined by local children for an afternoon of fun organised by builders Crest Nicholson.
Also present were the My Journey team from Wokingham Borough Council, with its famous smoothie bike, while the Revd Hannah Higginson, associate priest at All Saints Church, served refreshments as part of the church’s commitment to reach out to new communities.
Alongside testing out the new park facilities, children were also able to enjoy additional activities, including arts and crafts.
Once Cllr Soane had calmed down from his imaginary trek around the jungle, he said: “Opening the new park at Mulberry Grove was a fantastic honour for me. It is heart-warming to see people coming together and enjoying the facilities on offer. Public parks play an extremely important role in many communities, providing young families and children with safe and exciting spaces to enjoy and interact with neighbours – and the new park here at Mulberry Grove does just that. With summer coming I am sure there is going to be a lot of fun to be had.”
Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure, added: “This park looks great and I’m sure all the local children at Mulberry Grove are looking forward to the summer sun, shots on the swings and zooming down the slides.
“I wish them many happy hours playing here.
“There is more to come in Mulberry Grove. In addition to the park the allotment next door is also coming together for residents to enjoy. This space has been created with the local residents needs in mind.
“There’s a dedicated parking area, water taps and individual sheds for each plot holder. We also used organic matter during installation, making the site hedgehog friendly – a great benefit to the local ecosystem.”
Christine Tiernan, sales and marketing director, Crest Nicholson South said: “I am delighted to have welcomed so many families to the official opening of the park. We’ve worked hard to create a space that can be enjoyed by local children – so to see the excitement on their faces as they played on the new swings and in the sandpit was truly uplifting.”
She told The Wokingham Paper: “This is a lovely development of 284 homes, with 81 under shared ownership or rental.
“We’re most proud of the rented apartments – you would never know the difference between them [and the rest of the development]. It doesn’t feel like a cheap part of the road.”
Ms Tiernan was also delighted with how the recreational areas are coming together on the new development.
“The allotments are in the process of being handed over to the council, and there’s a waiting list for them,” she explained. “The SANG is where people will go with their dogs, and a smaller park will follow in about two years time
“It is fantastic to open the park. The first people moved in four years ago, they’ve waited a long time but they’re enjoying it now. We’re very happy.”
She added: “We mostly sell to local people – this is a nice place to live.
“We are trying to build a community feel.”
As part of this commitment, Crest Nicholson are planning a community barbecue with ice cream on Saturday, July 20.