South London playgrounds named saddest playgrounds in the capital

Two playgrounds in South London have been jointly named the saddest playgrounds in London.

Crystal Palace Park in Bromley and Leyton Square in Southwark were declared the playgrounds ‘most in need of love’ on Valentine’s Day, following a public vote.

The campaign, called ‘London’s Saddest Playground’, was run by Children’s charity London Play.

The charity aims to shine light on poor play facilities in London.

Wilf, 7, nominated Crystal Palace Park Playground with the help of his mum, Sarah. He said: “Lots of people use the park and for its size, its playground is rubbish.

“It only has swings and a sandpit.”

His Mum, Sarah, was critical of the way in which the park has been managed.

“We know the whole park is due to be improved by the Crystal Palace Park Trust, who are taking it over, but it’s sad that Bromley council let it fall into such a state over the years,” she said.

“It is an important space for so many children,” she added.

Mary King, who nominated Leyton Square as London’s saddest playground, described her feelings about the park.

“I’m thrilled to win but also saddened that for over six months Leyton Square’s big climbing frame has been a burnt-out shell that truly deserves the title ‘London’s saddest playground’,” she said.

“The most important thing is that this is a first step towards getting the playground restored to be a place that Southwark’s children are proud to play in,” she added.

Emerald Square in Ealing, which is run by housing association A2 Dominion, was a close third in the competition.

Fiona Sutherland, deputy director of London Play, said that too many playgrounds in London  are being neglected.

“This has only worsened since the outset of the pandemic,” she said.

Anyone who knows of poor play facilities are encouraged to get in touch with London Play.

Featured Image Credit: London Play

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