Playground garden transformed by returning children

Neglected over the long covid winter, with the playground closed, staff furloughed and children forced to stay at home, the garden area at Lollard Street Adventure Playground had become wild and overgrown.

But now, in a burst of activity over the Easter holidays, when the playground was able to finally reopen its gates for the first time since before Christmas, the garden has been embraced by children long deprived of contact with the natural world.


The project’s enthusiastic young gardeners have transformed the area: grass has been cut, weeds uprooted, fresh seedlings sown and bulbs planted. The fruit tree has been adorned with sun catchers: symbolising, perhaps, children’s growing hope for a brighter summer, without restrictions, and a return to the kind of childhood we all want for them.

We will use these pages over the coming weeks and months to monitor the garden’s progress – and our children’s enjoyment of a Lollard Street summer.

As schools close, Lollard Street prepares for a spring reopening

Playworkers Davida and Luca are looking forward to welcoming back children and young people to the playground

With spring blooming and the temperatures in London close to 25c as the school term draws to a close, Lollard Street Adventure Playground was today preparing to open its gates to children for the first time since December.

The 3rd Covid lockdown enforced the playground’s extended closure from the end of the winter term, with playwork staff being placed on furlough for the third period since the pandemic hit Britain in March 2020.

Spring is blooming as Lollard Street staff plan the playground’s Easter playscheme, starting tomorrow.

The team are now looking forward to returning to work and seeing the children and young people again, after first spending a full day gardening, cleaning and safety-checking the playground’s largely homemade wooden play structures.

Playworker, Davida, herself a former playground user, said “I’m so excited to see everyone again and catch up with them after such a long lockdown. It’s going to be fun!”.

A brand new surface, fence and floodlights have been installed in the playground’s larger sports pitch.

During the lockdown period, the Kennington Association, the local charity which manages the playground, has taken advantage of the opportunity to renovate the larger of its two sports pitches. In partnership with the Play Five Aside football company, a new synthetic sports surface, a new fence and new floodlights have been installed, ready for the resumption of outdoor sports.

Full details of the playground’s opening times and current Covid restrictions can be found here

 

 

 

Playground to reopen for school holidays

Lollard Street will open its gates again after school on 31 March.

New government guidance, after the current Covid lockdown, allows out-of-school settings to reopen for children to play outside during the Easter school holidays, with a revised Covid risk management policy. The playground’s new rules can be found here and a full timetable for the Easter holidays here.

The guidance also says that, after the school holidays: ‘the government’s intention is then for out-of-school settings and wraparound childcare providers to be able to offer provision as normal, to all children, from the start of the school summer term. This will be no earlier than 12 April, and will be confirmed as part of step 2 of the COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021‘.

The playground’s plans for the summer term will be published here when this guidance is confirmed.

New Tier 4 measures force playground closure for Christmas

The new Tier 4 restrictions to combat rising infection levels in London, announced by the Prime Minister yesterday, mean that Lollard Street Adventure Playground will regrettably have to close for the week before Christmas.

The charity is seeking advice about its options in the longer-term and will make a further announcement in due course.