Howard Park play areas reopen following major refurb

Six-year-old Matylda enjoying the new play area at Howard Park in Letchworth

Six-year-old Matylda enjoying the new play area at Howard Park in Letchworth - Credit: North Herts Council

Play areas at Howard Park and Gardens reopened last week, after being closed for three months for a major refurbishment.

North Herts Council worked with Groundwork East on the project, and following a public consultation last year, a new sensory trail has been added and much of the play area has been renovated with new equipment such as a sand pit, climbing frame and a roundabout designed for older children.

Six-year-old Matylda enjoying the new play area at Howard Park in Letchworth

Six-year-old Matylda enjoying the new play area at Howard Park in Letchworth - Credit: North Herts Council

Along the sensory pathway, there is play equipment that stimulates the senses which include sight, hearing, touch, movement and balance.

These elements include concave and convex mirror panels, a woodland themed finger maze, wobbly bridge and sound cones so you can hear the faintest whisper across the playground.

Councillor Steve Jarvis, executive member for leisure

Councillor Steve Jarvis, executive member for leisure - Credit: North Herts Council

Councillor Steve Jarvis, executive member for leisure, said: “The play area at Howard Park has always been popular, but we wanted to ensure it was more inclusive, so that children of all ages and abilities are able to play, be challenged, and have fun together.

"We are pleased with the end result and hope the children are too.”

Six-year-old Matylda said: “It’s really fun. I have been here before but I love the new stuff, my favourite is the funny mirrors.” 

Zoe enjoys the new wobbly bridge at Howard Park's play area

Zoe enjoys the new wobbly bridge at Howard Park's play area - Credit: North Herts Council

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Julia Watts, senior landscape architect at Groundwork East, added: “Howard Park sits at the heart of the community and it has been a privilege to work with North Herts Council on improvements to the playground. There is something for everyone.”

The play area at Howard Park was identified for improvements through the council's Green Space Strategy and used £80k from last year’s annual budget – the refurbishment has been delayed due to COVID-19 and supply issues. 

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