I’ve mentioned Leyton’s ‘Jubilee Park’ once or twice on this blog before. The first time was back in May, when Mushroom and I met the recycled kite maker (we’ve not seen him again since! Glad I took photos or I may have wondered whether he was real!). I mentioned him again more recently in an earlier Nature in the City post about picking blackberries.
This park used to simply be a large green space, with a tiny ‘typical’ children’s park in the corner. You know, swings, a slide etc… This year, along with several of the parks across the borough of Waltham Forest, it has been redesigned to encourage children to interact more with their natural surroundings. So, as well as a large area that remains as it was for the children to run around in, there are also ‘fallen’ trees to negotiate, wooden trampolines to jump on, ropes to help them swing across crocodile infested waters (well they are in our imagination!), rope snakes to ride on and hills of varying sizes to roll down (It’s possible that I like this even more than Mushroom does!)
Here are a few pictures of Mushroom making the most of this manmade ‘nature.’
I like this park and the others that are beginning to follow. It may be manmade, but Mushroom has always been quite cautious and before this was here, he needed a lot of encouragement to climb a tree, or roll down a big hill. The little trees and small hills here allowed him to build his confidence and he now does both without hesitation. His new found climbing confidence means I need to watch him a lot more closely these days!
What do you think? Is it a good idea to create more parks like this or should the council simply have left the space as it was before and let the children use their imaginations..? Please comment below, I’d love to hear your views, especially if you have similar parks in your area!