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Wildwood Play Zone opens at Ham Hill

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There was excitement in the air on Monday 11 March as local school children helped unveil the new ‘Wildwood Play Zone’ at Ham Hill Country Park.

Thanks to a grant from the People’s Postcode Lottery to the Friends of Ham Hill, rangers and volunteers have created a new natural play space full of wooden play features.

Above: With the help of volunteers and rangers from Ham Hill, children from Castle and Norton Schools help to add some creative carved art.

The newly created Wildwood Play Zone was unveiled with Castle and Norton Schools who helped add some creative art to the area in the form of carved wooden leaves.

Work began on the site during 2018, with the aim to design the play area to be in keeping with the natural beauty of Ham Hill. The work involved rangers and volunteers stripping the bark from trees to ensure they last longer, digging in the wood and dumping tonnes of wood chips in the area to create soft landing platform underneath the play items.    

Above: Children from Castle and Norton Schools using some of the newly installed play equipment at the Wildwood Play Zone.

The wood for the play features has all come from Ham Hill Country Park as a result of winter woodland management work.

Paul McNeill, Countryside Ranger at Ham Hill Country Park, said: “It has been great working with local schools on this project and we hope that all children who visit Ham Hill will enjoy the play-zone for years to come."

Mick Wooden, Chairman of the Friends of Ham Hill said: “Thanks to a generous grant from the Postcode Local Trust, we have created a natural play space at Ham Hill. The play features have been built, as far as possible, with timber harvested from site and the project has been delivered by the rangers with the help of volunteers. Activities such as story-telling, den building and climbing have been catered for. This helps us to make the site more accessible to schools and the local community by building a range of wooden play features that reflect the wildlife & heritage of the site. It is well established that outdoor play spaces are important for children's learning and health.”

Councillor Sylvia Seal, portfolio holder for Leisure and Culture at South Somerset District Council, added: “The area looks fantastic and it was a pleasure to work with children to put the final touches to the play equipment. We expect the area to be really well used over the coming months and it’s a fantastic addition to the site for all to enjoy.”

Above: Children from Castle and Norton Schools, rangers at Ham Hill and volunteers and Councillor Sylvia Seal officially open the new Wildwood Play Zone at Ham Hill Country Park.

A new Ham Hill Roman Treasure Trail leaflet will be out later this year, which will finish at the Wildwood Play Zone.

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