Dukes Meadows Playground Praised

Described as a model for sustainable play provision


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The Dukes Meadows project has been praised as a model for sustainable play provision and greater community cohesion by the Local Government magazine.

The magazine featured Dukes Meadows as its lead story in its November 12th edition.

It commented that with resources stretched and mounting unmet demands for local services, the Chiswick-based community group (working in partnership with its local authority) had found a novel solution for creating, improving and sustaining a park enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds.

The community conservation charity Dukes Meadows Trust ( DMT) was set up to restore the riverside park and focus on its leisure potential and bio diversity. Volunteers help maintain the community garden and orchard, plant trees bulbs and care for the hedges, repaint benches remove graffiti and litter.

Recognising the growing evidence base of the benefits of playing in nature a challenging and inspiring adventure playspace, designed by AAB Architects, was created with prime funding from BIG Lottery Fund’s Playful Ideas strand, supplemented by contributions from Veolia Environment Trust, The London Marathon Trust and Garfield Weston Foundation.

"The project’s success is based on the consultations with local children at all stages, meaning the play area became an inclusive environment, catering for the needs of and providing challenges for children with different abilities," said the author of the article, Dr Ute Navadi, a former chief executive of London Play who now works as a consultant.

The Farmers' Market which is open on Sundays and currently grosses over £20,000 a year, and the artists' studios which were created from DMT reserves boost its income to more than £80,000 per annum. Funds pay for nature study classes for children from the estates, free family activities, the Ranger's salary to support volunteers and engage the community, and build a reserve for equipment replacement.

Kathleen Healy of the Trust commented; "We are delighted that our project has been featured in Local Government Magazine and praised as a replicable model for sustainable play provision.

"It is a great testament to the many volunteers and supporters who have pitched in over the years to transform the park. We welcome new volunteers to help out in the park or with admin or promotion. Anyone with a few hours to spare should contact us at admin@dukesmeadowstrust.org ", she said.

The full article can be read on this link:




November 22, 2012

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