Hitchin's Smithson Recreation Ground play area has received a much-needed makeover, with new equipment installed for children to enjoy.

North Herts Council, in partnership with Groundwork East, have repainted or relocated a number of park items at the site in Upper Tilehouse Street, but there are new items too.

These include a witch's hat climbing frame, basket swing, slide, musical stepping stones, 18m running track, an inclusive wheelchair-friendly roundabout, and an accessible wavy path you can run, wheel or cycle around.

The Comet: Plenty of new equipment has been installed.Plenty of new equipment has been installed. (Image: North Herts Council)

"The revamped area looks great, and with wildflower planting dotted around it’s a great environment to be in," said Cllr Steve Jarvis, executive member for environment and leisure at North Herts Council.

"With equipment for a wide range of children of all abilities, we hope the local community enjoy their refreshed play area for years to come."

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Smithson Recreation Ground was given to the council by local suffragette Sarah Smithson, when it formed part of her property, originally donated to the community for the enjoyment of women and girls.

The Comet: The land was given to the council by local suffragette Sarah Smithson.The land was given to the council by local suffragette Sarah Smithson. (Image: North Herts Council)

Catherine Browne, landscape architect from Groundwork, added: "Our aim was to create a climate resilient and accessible playground – by removing the tarmac we created more space for nature, a cooler surface for children to play on and an absorbent surface for times of high rainfall.

"The equipment was chosen to widen the play age range of children. There was a beautiful 1980s four-seat swing which we tried to keep, however it had passed beyond its useable lifespan and couldn’t be relocated on site, so the birds nest swing was put in its place.

"Another aim was to diversify the play provisions within the play area, sensory planting was included to teach children about nature as well as try to cater for more neurodiverse needs."

The Comet: The new basket swing.The new basket swing. (Image: North Herts Council)

The Comet: The old swing set.The old swing set. (Image: North Herts Council)