New play area

New play area complete and open at half term

After 18 weeks since construction began on ‘Fox Play’, the new play area in Ferry Meadows is now complete and will be open to the public in the half term holiday from Tuesday 26 October.

Fox Play forms the latest stage in updating and improving the play provision at Ferry Meadows, following similar successful developments of Otter Play in 2014 and Badger Play in 2016, designed to offer natural adventurous play for all ages. Outlined in the Nene Park Master Plan, which sets out the key strategic priorities and projects for Nene Park for delivery up to 2050, Fox Play provides an exciting play area with water features, zip lines, raised walk-ways, climbing opportunities and plenty of new tree planting.  It is the biggest of our three play areas, aimed at slightly older children, but accessible to a range of ages.

Designed by acclaimed landscape designers Davies White, Fox Play covers 7,800 m2 and includes thirteen different pieces of play equipment incorporating natural materials – water, sand, stone and wood. These will enable children to climb, crawl, slide, swing, splash and fly their way around the play area. In addition, with 230m of new surfaced paths, varied equipment and a range of seating, Fox Play offers increased accessibility, adventure and play opportunities for a range of ages and abilities. 

The play area also incorporates ‘reconnecting with nature’ as a central theme. 22 new trees of 5 different species have been planted and there is plenty of playful planting for people and nature throughout the area, with 1574 new plants added of 17 different species including nectar-rich and fruiting plants, which are good for wildlife. Our dedicated volunteer team have been involved in the planting for the play area over the last two weeks.

Andrew MacDermott, Head of Development at Nene Park Trust, said “This is a really exciting project in the Park that has caught the attention of children and adults alike.  As part of our work to improve the Lakeside area this is a great start and we hope our visitors will enjoy this new adventurous play space and look forward to future developments in this area!”

Thanks go to our generous funders for Fox Play who include FCC Communities Foundation and Viridor Credits Environmental Company. 

Cheryl Raynor, Grant Manager at FCC Communities Foundation said: “We are delighted to support Nene Park Trust and offer our congratulations for the successful construction of Fox Play. The new play area will be a fantastic facility for local people and other visitors to the Park.”

Gareth Williams, Operations Manager at Viridor Credits, said “Fox Play is a fantastic example of designing nature into play, allowing children to develop free play skills in a structured environment. Viridor Credits is pleased to support Nene Park Trust in delivering this project.”

At the opening event on Tuesday 26 October 10am-2pm, visitors will be able to pick up a specially designed activity booklet with a quiz to complete while at the play area. They will also have a chance to feedback on the different equipment, ranking their favourite pieces and telling the Trust what they have enjoyed. Staff members will be around to talk to visitors and answer questions on the new play area. The Trust is looking forward to welcoming all new Fox Play explorers!

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