Two adventure playgrounds in Hackney have received prizes at the London Adventure Play Awards ceremony this month making the borough one of London’s best for children’s play.
Shakespeare’s Walk Adventure Playground was crowned best in the capital, while Hackney Marsh took away the prize for most open adventure play setting.
Fiona Sutherland from the London Play Awards explained that it is the children themselves who choose the winners and that they found the two parks to be “much more exciting than your ordinary playground.”
Both playgrounds focus on providing a safe space for children to challenge themselves and try out activities without the need for adult intervention.
Angela Day of Hackney Marsh Adventure said the activities at the parks provided a space for, “risky play, freedom and choice. While allowing them to test the boundaries of their own ability in a safe environment.”
She added that the adventure playgrounds plan to stay open even when the weather becomes colder over the coming winter months. “We’re led by the children,” she explained, “they would come rain, shine or snow to play outside.”
The winning playground has been awarded with £500 to build a new structure for the site that the children will help choose and design.
Regular playground visitor Lauren,12, said that the new addition to the site has not been decided on yet, but that all the members are going to “get together and have a meeting”. Ideas have already begun to circulate, including rumours of a trampoline.
Christina Jordean, Chair of Shakespeare’s Playground commented that all the children were “over the moon” at winning the award, adding: ‘It means so much because it will be a vehicle for us to open up to the community more and encourage people from other boroughs to come for a visit.”