Kent County Council is investing in new and improved play areas in most of its national parks.

Kent Country Parks has received £1.1million in Covid-19 public health recovery funding to invest in its play offering. The money will be used to improve existing play areas as well as install new play equipment.

At Shorene Woods Country Park, for example, inclusive play equipment, including a wheelchair swing, will be installed to complement the new Changing Spaces toilet facility which opened in 2021.

The following national parks will see improvement work taking place between March and May; Brockhill, Grove Ferry, Lullingstone, Manor Park, Pegwell Bay, Shorene Woods, Teston Bridge and Trosley.

The provisional work program is:

country park Estimated work from the week of Estimated end of work
Brock Hill 28 Feb May 16
Pegwell 28 Feb May 31st
mansion park March 7 May 30
Shorne April 18 May 31st
Teston Bridge April 20 May 31st
Trosley April 25 May 31st
Grove Ferry April 18 May 31st

This may be subject to change, so visitors are advised to check the Country Parks Facebook page and website for up-to-date information.

Kate Phillips, Head of National Parks and Partnerships, said: “Our team is delighted to see this investment in our play areas and look forward to providing exciting new play opportunities for a wide range of ages and abilities. .

Shorene Woods National Park

“The works will mean that existing play areas will have to be closed while contractors remove old equipment and install new ones, so we ask visitors to please be patient with us while we make these improvements.”

Mike Hill, KCC Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, said: “Our country parks have been a real lifeline for many Kent residents during the pandemic.

“I am delighted that we have secured this new investment which will provide a welcome improvement in the opportunities for young people offered by our parks.”

The improvements planned in each national park over the next few months are:

  • AT Brockhill National Park, Hythe, funding of £100,000 will help create a more inclusive and accessible space for all age groups and generations.

Additions will include swings, two new climbing structures, a tube slide to accompany the existing embankment slide, sensory features providing texture and sound, and roundabout capability among many other features.

The playground will also be covered with a “Wetpour” recycled rubber safety surfacing. The weather-resistant and shock-absorbing coating helps prevent injuries while children play.

  • The popular playground in Grove Ferry Picnic Site near Canterbury will soon be replaced by a brand new suite of exciting and interactive amenities, thanks to £150,000 in funding. equipment, an extra wide slide and a wheelchair-friendly in-ground inclusive carousel.

    Artist’s impression of the new Grove Ferry playground

There will also be a finishing trail, swing set, low level play and plenty of imaginative play with a Galleon Climbing Ship. In front of the fenced playground there will be an additional fenced picnic area with seating.

The playground will also be covered with a “Wetpour” recycled rubber safety surfacing. The weather-resistant and shock-absorbing coating helps prevent injuries while children play.

  • Pegwell Bay National Park The old, well-used play park will soon be replaced by a brand new suite of exciting and interactive equipment, thanks to £160,000 in funding from the Covid-19 Public Health Recovery Fund.

Delivered by Playdale contractors, the play area will feature a number of carefully considered inclusive features, such as easy-access paths, an extra-wide slide and a wheelchair-friendly in-ground roundabout.

There will also be low level games and lots of imaginative play with a pirate ship. In front of the fenced playground there will be an additional fenced picnic area with seating.

The playground will also be covered with a “Wetpour” recycled rubber safety surfacing. The weather-resistant and shock-absorbing coating helps prevent injuries while children play.

  • Mansion Country Park at West Malling is working with Playdale to bring exciting new enhancements to the existing playground. With funding of £150,000, the end result will be a more inclusive and accessible space for all age groups and generations, with swings, two new climbing frames, a seesaw, a capacity carousel, sensory features providing texture and sound, cradle swings, among many other features. .

The playground will also be covered with a “Wetpour” recycled rubber safety surfacing. The weather-resistant and shock-absorbing coating helps prevent injuries while children play.

Additional game possibilities Shorene Woods National Park will soon be available with funding of £235,000. Complementing the existing play areas already available, the all-new play area – designed and installed by Playdale contractors – will feature several carefully considered inclusive elements, such as a swing set, easy access ramps and a roundabout included in the floor suitable for wheelchairs.

There will also be low-level play and plenty of imaginative play with a play boat and train, plus two new climbing structures, among many other features.

The playground will also be covered with a “Wetpour” recycled rubber safety surfacing. The weather-resistant and shock-absorbing coating helps prevent injuries while children play.

A large slide and a climbing structure in the current playground are also being replaced as part of the works.

  • Teston Bridge National Park is working with Playdale to bring exciting new enhancements to the existing playground. With funding of £150,000, the end result will be a more inclusive and accessible space for all age groups and generations, with a bespoke play galleon, cradle swings, new climbing frames, sensory characteristics providing texture and sound and roundness among many other characteristics.

The playground will also be covered with a “Wetpour” recycled rubber safety surfacing. The weather-resistant and shock-absorbing coating helps prevent injuries while children play.

  • Trosley National Park the old, well-used play park will soon be replaced by a brand new suite of exciting and interactive facilities, thanks to £100,000 funding.

Delivered by Playdale contractors, the play area will be an upgrade to the existing toddler play park and an extension to the play area on the Trosley Trail. The equipment includes a new climbing frame, inclusive swings, an adventure wigwam and many imaginative play possibilities with a play tractor and a train, among many other features.

The new park follows improvements to the visitor center and cafe area complementing the new look of the national park.

  • Lullingstone National Park will receive new play equipment throughout the park with £18,000 in funding. There will be a new play tractor and toddler trailer in the meadow, a second cradle swing in the woods, and a new set of toddler and junior swings that you can find by following the Discovery Trail.

Visitors can find out more about the national parks and up to date information on play area improvements on the KCC National Parks web pages www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/kent-country -parks as well as on the Facebook pages of each national park.

KCC’s nine national parks offer some of the best natural habitats and scenery Kent has to offer. They provide a valuable recreational and educational resource for residents and visitors.

There are eight Green Flag awards, with each of these parks having restrooms, playgrounds, parking, and cafes or seasonal refreshments.