July 17th, 2019.

Riverside Park in Robinson Road in Newhaven - near The Jolly Boatman - has undergone a dramatic rebuild with a whole new play area based on the ideas of the local children who use the park.

The central feature is the Pirate Ship pictured here.

Lesley Boniface from Friends of Riverside Park takes up the story: "The design for the play park came about as a collaboration and consultation with the local children who were using the park a couple of years ago when it was obvious the old play equipment was coming to the end of its life.

"Chris Bibb at Lewes District Council gave the Friends and Newhaven Town Council some ideas of possible equipment. Then we literally sat on the grass and asked the kids what they wanted over a couple of afternoons.

"I also had some ideas from the volunteers and what we see today is literally what was asked for – swings, slides, lots of climbing, some spinning things, a sandpit and room to run around in.

"I’d already seen a great imaginative play maze and castle in a Canterbury play park. I asked Chris for an imaginative play area and taking inspiration from the small marina and boat yard across the way a boat came to life. I’m glad the wood theme is appreciated – we originally thought metal to tie in with the Energy Recovery Facility, but Riverside Park is a natural area so the wood fits in better.

"My personal favourites are obviously the pirate ship and the big seesaw – it’s great to see the mums and dads joining in playing on the seesaw.

"There are still some improvements to be made and the shade situation is one of them. I think Karen/Burleys might be able to advise on that and the empty bed is going to be filled.

"We’re also looking into benches for the outside of the play area for parents to sit on if they have dogs with them.

"The Town Council is also in the throes of buying an outdoor table tennis table which is going to be placed in the Lewes Road Community Garden, but will be for everybody’s use.

"No events planned at the moment. We just want the equipment to settle in and the community to enjoy it but who knows what might happen in the future!"

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