Stoke Newington: New Clissold Park Plans Revealed

Artist impression of new adventure playground, in Clissold Park.

An artist impression of the new playground in Clissold Park, Stoke Newington, has been revealed.

Co-funded by Hackney Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the BIG Lottery Fund, it will replace and transform the existing play area, located next to Clissold House (Church Street Entrance) and will include a sports zone to appeal to older children as well as natural play areas for young children.

Local teenagers will be able to enjoy the sports zone, which will include a wheels park for skate boarders, roller bladers and BMXers of all levels and abilities ; as well as a multi-use games area  complete with goals and line markings for five-a-side football and basketball; and a built-in table tennis table.

The adventure playground makes use of natural resources to create a stimulating 6000-m2 play area of swaying wooden bridges, hollow logs, stone climbing boulders and tractor tyre swings as well as a swooping sand valley, shaped like a child’s vision of a desert island and a tall climbing web with swings, springy-things and roundabouts for smaller children.

The varied landscape also includes grass mounds, sustainably constructed using soil and silts sourced from the recent excavation of the Clissold lakes.
The park will also boast new animal enclosures, including a deer enclosure with a pathway that allows people to see the deer up close and a new butterfly dome showcasing exotic species and a new aviary complete with a sustainable green roof.

Cllr Jonathan McShane, Hackney Council’s Cabinet member for Community Services said: “This is a park that children and adults and teenagers are going to love making their own.

“The skills children learn through quality outdoor play, help them to develop mentally, physically and emotionally and we all know that memories of childhood play can last a life-time. Clissold Park now has the lot. Our investment in Clissold Park and house will transform this already popular green space into a haven for children and families in Hackney.”

The transformation of Clissold Park’s children’s play area is part of a major restoration project, which will see the re-development of Clissold House and surrounding estate for the first time in over one hundred years.

A joint-investment of £8.9 million by Hackney Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund will see the 19th century house restored to reflect its original architecture with a new café, better access for people with disabilities, and new function and meeting rooms for community use.

Other works planned include extensive maintenance of the New River and lakes, which run through the grounds, plus a refurbished pavilion and kiosk .

Residents, will have to wait until spring 2011, to enjoy the new amenities.  The old playground will close in October this year, to allow works to take place.

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