Local Mother on a Mission to Improve Playgrounds

Clementine Wallop says everyone benefits from better provision

Rowberry Mead playground is seen as a missed opportunity given its location

November 3, 2023

A mother of two who lives near Ravenscourt Park is on a mission to improve the quality of playgrounds in the borough.

Clementine Wallop says she and her children, aged 3 and 6, have become dispirited by the quality of provision in the area which she says is often poorly maintained.

She believes that some of the equipment is nearly the same age as her as some of her friends, who grew up in the area and say they used to play on the same kit her children are now using.

On her Instagram @thisusedtobemyplayground she has recorded issues such as screws sticking out of climbing frames, nettles growing under slides and equipment that has been broken and not replaced for extended periods.

Even where investment has been made in new facilities such as on Shepherd’s Bush Green, she says the presence of drug dealers acts as a deterrent to their use.

She often takes her children to playgrounds in Kensington and Chelsea which she believes are better, but when she has raised issues with her own council, she is told by the parks department that it acknowledges the deficiencies she is highlighting but that there is insufficient funding.

Clementine uses her Instagram page to highlight issues after reporting them to the council
Clementine uses her Instagram page to highlight issues after reporting them to the council

Clementine is working with an organisation called London Play which campaigns for better play provision and has sent numerous emails to council officers and councillors reporting maintenance problems.

She is hopeful attractively sited play areas such as those in Ravenscourt Park, by Upper Mall and Rowberry Mead can benefit from future investment which the council say is on the horizon.

She says, “Aside from the obvious benefit to our children's mental and physical health, there is a benefit to businesses. I leave the borough at least once a week to access better play provision elsewhere, usually in RBKC. When I go there, I buy a coffee, a magazine, a snack. You can see how good playgrounds = good for local business, and LBHF is right now losing out on that dividend.”

She has set up a survey for local parents to take and she hopes the feedback will help inform the council which areas are most in need of extra funding and how better security can be delivered to playgrounds.

Click here to take the survey.

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