Update Report - February 2011
Finally, in December we managed to open the new playground, despite the best efforts of the weather. I have observed a fair level of usage so far, although this is not the time of year most suitable for extensive usage.
I have to report that the opening was a very close run thing. Because of the icy weather we only managed to complete the play area (enough) on the Tuesday of the opening week, and the RoSPA inspection took place the day before the opening (we passed with flying colours). On Thursday afternoon as I sat in a meeting (in Ruddington), watching a blizzard blowing, I learnt that the Mayor was sick and would not be available and still did not know whether we had a safety certificate. Ultimately all went well, the sun shone, the Deputy Mayor was very impressed, the school turned out in force and proved it is possible to get over 100 children onto the playground at once. The Playground Renewal Group is very grateful to the Mr Madison, Cllr Strutt and St Peters School for helping organise things and for hosting us all afterwards.
The bad weather meant that we opened with some work undone, and a long list snags to iron out. We have a program for addressing these as soon as we can, starting in February, as follows
The remaining hedging along the fence has been planted, and the hawthorns planted in the wrong place have subsequently been removed still to be resolved.
The proper seats for the toddlers swing should be fitted by the time you read this, if not they are very close.
The asphalt round the skateboard needs repair, and then patterning with a design from the children
The totem poles need painting (both need warm dry weather)
The top of the tunnel needs pointing, more soil, and some turf
Some of the surfaces by the gates and by the zip wire already show signs of wear, so we will fix those as soon as the weather improves. More worryingly much of the grass seed planted in early October has failed due to the cold weather, and our grassy banks are muddy mounds. We are looking for a solution to that which does not involve closing areas of the park to stop children wearing away new grass or kicking up new turf. Practical ideas please.
A further item is the earth mound, which arose because of a misunderstanding. The contractor has made one attempt to remove it all, but his vehicles got bogged down halfway through. Another attempt will be made once the field is firmer.
Once the weather improves and you have all had a chance to get used to the new facility we plan to start a consultation and satisfaction survey, so watch out for notes in school satchels, a stand at the show, and other ways of collecting your opinion.
The Playground Renewal Group.