Fears for safety at £100k park

One of the boulders at new Tower Gardens play area that have attracted criticism.
One of the boulders at new Tower Gardens play area that have attracted criticism.

Concern has been raised for children’s safety at Skegness’ new £100,000 play park due to boulders included in the design.

East Lindsey District Council opened the revamped play park at Tower Gardens last month. Among those to inspect it on the first day was Skegness father-of-two Hugh Greenaway.

Hugh, 47, has visited the park as a parent for about 20 years and, while he found much to admire in the re-vamp, including a safety surface, he took issue with three boulders installed in the areas between play equipment, with one near a trampoline.

“I hate to be all health and safety, but this really is a ridiculous feature,” he told the Standard.

Hugh, who works as a nurse at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital, took his concerns to the council, but was told the park had been assessed as meeting health and safety regulations.

He says the council explained that the boulders are there to offer natural play opportunities, such as climbing.

The response left him dumbfounded, he said, adding: “I thought someone would look at it and say ‘that’s not a good idea’, but the stance they have taken is to defend it.”

While Hugh accepts the value of natural play opportunities, he argues that the boulders do not offer that.

“They don’t serve a purpose other than being in the way,” he said.

And while he also accepts there is no such thing as risk-free play, he argues the boulders are an unforgiving addition, saying: “It’s not the falling that hurts, it’s what you hit. If you hit a stone, there’s no give.”

A council spokesman said: “The council has received one complaint in respect of the boulders in the new play park.

“The park has been signed off by an independent health and safety inspector, however, in light of the concern that has been raised, we are taking a second opinion.”