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Work to redevelop Sherwood Avenue Play Park has begun

Newark and Sherwood District Council and Newark Town Council are excited to announce that work has officially begun on the ambitious redevelopment of Sherwood Avenue Play Park.

The District Council’s Street Scene Team have been working to prepare the site for the redevelopment, and this week the installation of brand-new accessible play equipment is underway in what will be the park’s new Play Zone.

The Play Zone has been designed with creative play and fun in mind, as the perfect spot for children to enjoy the outdoors. The play park area will include ten pieces of accessible play equipment, both new and refurbished. Children will also soon be able to whiz along the brand-new zip line under a canopy of trees and have a paddle and play in the Splash Area with a water rill and water-play equipment! The zone has been designed for parents to be able to relax in seated areas with a full view of the play area to keep an eye out as their family enjoy the park.

Over the next few months, development will also begin on the additional new zones at the park, with areas built for all sections of the local community including:

The Welcome Area – Visitors will be greeted into the park through this area via new and improved entrances, one for pedestrian park visitors and another for vehicle access when required. The Welcome Area will also feature a range of planting, from meadow style planting to a new avenue of ornamental trees. Perhaps most exciting, there will be an outdoor vendor area in this zone, for local traders such as local coffee or food businesses, or local performers and entertainers to set up shop for the day!

The Active Zone – Fun and fitness will be accessible to all ages and abilities in this new Active Zone featuring:

- A brand new, state of the art skate park in the site’s old lido. Plans for this have been developed with the help of local skate groups.

- A skate park rest area

- A multi-use sports pitch

- A free ride area for biking and skating

- A fitness trail with a selection of outdoor exercise equipment

- A spiralling grass staircase-like trail for visitors to walk up and view across the park, with a mounted plaque to show the direction and distances to local sites such as Newark Castle. The soil used to create the trail has been reused and recycled from various District Council Street Scene projects, including the rejuvenation of Sconce and Devon’s football pitches.

The Nature Zone - A Silver Birch avenue will lead park visitors into the Nature Zone along a wheelchair-friendly path made from recycled materials such as brick, slate, wood and gravel. Visitors will be able to enjoy nature peacefully tucked away on a bench or with friends on the recycled tree log seating areas.

This area has been designed with biodiversity and wildlife at the heart of the plans, with new habitat areas such as log piles, insect houses, bat boxes and hedgehog hides all included. An extensive planting programme will also take place to benefit pollinators and foraging wildlife including the creation of 500 square meters of wildflower meadow and the planting of 40 new trees, 250m of hedgerow, 5000 bulbs and a fruit bearing orchard.

Councillor Emma Oldham, Portfolio Holder for Biodiversity an Environmental Services at Newark and Sherwood District Council said: “We know how important outdoor spaces such as this are to our residents, and we are committed to investing in our green spaces and parks, such as Sherwood Avenue Play Park, to better our district and benefit our communities.

“I’m so excited to see the plans beginning to take shape, and with opportunities for imaginative play, exploring nature and getting active, I know this park will be a vibrant, well-loved asset to our community.”

Newark Town Mayor, Councillor Diane Ledger, said: “I would just like to say how happy I am that the residents of Newark will be able to enjoy a safer, spacious, and accessible park. The new design caters for all ages groups and abilities, with an emphasis on nature and openness, creating a safe and welcoming space. I am excited to see the finished project and the use it will get for many years to come.”

The plans to reinvigorate the site were developed using the results of the consultation and feedback shared by residents, local community groups and schools, and the District Council and Newark Town Council have worked closely to ensure these ideas were captured in the plans. The redevelopment is also part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, with £250,000 contributed towards the project.

In the early stages of the development, the District Council and Town Council conducted a public consultation to ensure the plans for the park reflect the wants and needs of residents. From the feedback some concerns were raised about anti-social behaviour in the current park and the councils have worked alongside the Police to ensure the plans addressed these concerns.

Councillor Paul Taylor, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection and Community Relations at Newark and Sherwood District Council offers reassurance on this: “We are committed to tackling ASB and our programme of works to do so includes improving and enhancing the tools at our disposal to deter and identify offenders. That is why we are installing upgraded CCTV to Sherwood Avenue Play Park to ensure high-quality image capture; alongside the strategic improvements we have made to the park’s sight line to offer enhanced visibility around the park and a more open and safe feeling space. We also worked with our partners from the Police on changes to entrances and exits with deterring offenders in mind.

“Children, families and residents should be able to enjoy our local parks feeling safe and secure, and I hope the work we have done at Sherwood Avenue Play Park, and other locations around the district, reassures residents that we are as committed as ever to clamping down on ASB.”

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