Picture Caption : Cllr Ian Thomas and Cllr Vicky Johns with student Emiko L'Estrange.
Cllr Ian Thomas and Cllr Vicky Johns with student Emiko L'Estrange.

An Ottery play area, designed by more than 200 local children, is finally finished.

A ground level trampoline and a 12 metre zip wire are among the new attractions at the Winter’s Lane play area, owned by East Devon District Council (EDDC).

The area has also been kitted out with a 2.4 metre tall rope climbing pyramid, a slide and climbing area, picnic bench, a toddler swing and a toddler and parent swing.

At the beginning of the project, pupils at Ottery St Mary Primary School and The King’s School, aged five to 14, were asked how they would like £50,000 to be spent on the play area. Parents and carers of those aged under five, were also contacted through Facebook, to find out what was popular with their younger children.

EDDC then tasked several play area companies to send in their designs for children at The King’s School, as well as other children and young people in Ottery, to vote on.

The winning design, made by Sutcliffe Play, was most popular for children aged older than five. However, to appeal to as many children and families as possible, the designs include a new climbing frame specifically targeted at toddlers and other new items such as the parent/toddler swing.

There is also play puzzle panel for the under-fives.

An Ottery St Mary Town Council spokesperson said:

It is wonderful to announce a great new facility for the town after two years of restrictions and lockdowns.

The children of Ottery St Mary voted for their favourite design and it is great to see it now in place and open to play on.

This is the first project to be delivered by OSMTC using £50,000 collected from housing developments in and around the centre of Ottery, and will shortly be followed by a new MUGA and improvements at Land of Canaan and other projects.

The town and district councils have worked together to deliver an exciting new playground at Winters Lane, based on the design chosen by hundreds of local children (and parents!).

Ottery mayor and Councillor Vicky Johns said:

I am delighted that together EDDC and Ottery Town Council have worked so hard with the community to deliver the new facilities for Winters Lane play park. During the recent pandemic it has become much more obvious that local facilities are very much needed and necessary.

Play parks are not just somewhere for children to play they also provide many learning opportunities through different types of play, including physical, emotional, imaginative, cognitive and the much needed social development. A play park is a place where adults and children alike can meet up safely and we hope the residents of Ottery will enjoy the new facilities chosen by hundreds of local children.