Tower Hamlets park unveils new sensory equipment for children’s playground

Children and parents playing in a park. Pic: RageZ

A park in Tower Hamlets will undergo a transformation to make it’s playground equipment accessible to all children.  

Bartlett park will now have a sensory path that will provide touch, sight, smell, and sound devices. The park will also include toddler inclusive swings.

The council hopes to increase accessibility and promote an inclusive environment that provides children and young adults the same experiences able children have access to in public play areas.

Kate Digney, Associate Director and Head of Landscape at Levitt Bernstein, the architect firm in charge of the renovation, said: “A large play space sits at the heart of the park, designed to reflect the needs of children and young people with enhanced mental and physical needs. This is a flagship provision for the borough and designs were developed with local children, parents and carers, SEN teachers and staff – so it’s a particularly special space in the park. Accompanied by a new palette of trees, plants and wildflower meadows, Bartlett Park is now working even harder for the local community.”

Tower Hamlets Council hopes to improve over 60 parks and open spaces in the borough by promising a £10 million investment.  The council alongside the special educational needs and disabilities teams want to involve the public in helping plan different designs. 

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “These new playgrounds will support our younger residents to enjoy outdoor play, which is vital for their development. The facilities will make a huge difference to families who can come together in our wonderful parks and open spaces.”

UNICEF, an organisation specialising in the welfare of children worldwide, said in a 2013 post on their website, “that for children with disabilities, the right to play is often thwarted as a result of both physical barriers and social exclusion.”

Councillor Sabina Akhtar, Cabinet Member for Culture and Arts, said: “I’m delighted the new play equipment at Bartlett Park and Meath Gardens is now open for people to enjoy. There are other new playgrounds on the way as part of our investment across the borough to provide vital opportunities for children to play together.’’

Kate Digney said: ‘We have been working closely with LB Tower Hamlets to deliver a new masterplan for Bartlett Park and we’re thrilled to see the works nearing completion on site. The project is really important to our Practice and reflects our core value of putting local people’s needs at the heart of spaces we design.”

“The park has always been enjoyed by locals, but improvements have already welcomed a new set of visitors. New outdoor equipment includes a workout area, jogging routes, picnic spaces and a waterside public zone linking to the Limehouse Cut. Access to high-quality green space has never been more important for Londoners and it’s satisfying to see completed areas being well-used by local people.”

A new playground is also set to open in Poplar Recreation Ground in October and over the next 6 months work will begin on a new play facility at Millwall Park and at Weavers Fields, in Bethnal Green.

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