Natural Play Area Opens at Russell Gardens

Russell Garden play area

New area designed in keeping with Grade II Listed gardens

A new natural play area sympathetic to the historic landscape of Russell Gardens has opened as part of the £3.1m Lottery funded Kearsney Parks project.

Designed as Kearsney Court Gardens (c.1900) by the leading Edwardian landscape architect, Thomas Mawson, Russell Gardens is Grade II Listed on the Historic England Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.

The natural play area includes a play hut, log climbing frame, cantilever swing, seesaw, and balance beams all made from sustainable and durable hardwood, along with boulder play and natural pea shingle safety surfacing.

The playground makes good use of an embankment with stepped access to a slide, climbing rope and holds.  Retaining wall seating provides the perfect spot for parents to keep an eye on their children for supervised play.

The play area has passed two separate safety assessments by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).  As with all play areas, children should be supervised at all times.

A new accessible toilet has also been provided in Russell Gardens, recreating the design of a summer house, along with new recycling facilities.

Roger Wragg, Head of Commercial Services at Dover District Council, said: “The Kearsney Parks are one of the most popular places for families to visit in the district and a great place for children to play and explore the natural environment.

“Creating a natural play area which was sympathetic to the historic landscape of Russell Gardens was a key objective of the project.  The early signs are that our younger residents love the new play space!”

Posted on 20 April 2021

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