Hundreds were invited to a nature-inspired party to celebrate the completion of a new inclusive playground at Greenwich Park

The Royal Parks charity invited local children from around Greenwich Park to attend a launch event (July 23) celebrating the completion of a new inclusive playground in the park.

The bespoke maritime-themed playground cost around £350,000 to build and was opened by the charities chief executive, Andrew Scattergood.

This was followed by party games and activities and the children were invited to plant the final blooms in the playground’s planting scheme, with flowers chosen for scent and colour to create a sensory experience.

The playground was built thanks to generous support from The London Marathon Charitable Trust.

All teams involved worked closely with the local community, including Greenwich Parent Voice, a group of parents with children with special educational needs or disabilities, to ensure that the layout is as inclusive as possible for children of all ages and abilities.

Vivien Davies is a community group organiser, dog lover and full-time carer, who lives in Greenwich with her husband, her teenage son, her young daughter who has complex needs, and a very lively Labrador.

She says: “Together with other local parents we’ve helped ensure the designs are inclusive, giving our thoughts on the sketches and models and providing insights from families of children with disabilities. It’s been incredibly rewarding to see the designs evolve into a finished facility that children of all abilities can enjoy.

“My daughter has difficulties with her co-ordination, so it’s essential the playground design is accessible, so she can practise her movement skills, take risks and enjoy the sensory opportunities of sand and water, trees and plants.

“She’s looking forward to playing with other children in this lovely natural environment, rather than just watching them have fun from the side lines. She will be able to join in with creative and imaginative play and make new friends. All this would be difficult in a less inclusive space.”

Children will be able to immerse themselves in a nature-inspired setting which uses loose, textured and natural materials such as logs, rope and bark to blend in with the park’s landscape.

Features include a basket swing, roundabout, and plenty of sand and water play. Play elements are positioned both at ground level and in raised channels of varying height, so that children with disabilities and able-bodied children can play together.

Graham Dear, Greenwich Park’s Manager, said: “Each year we welcome more than 400,000 visitors to our playground in historic Greenwich Park. And this fantastic, inclusive facility – built thanks to funding from The London Marathon Charitable Trust – has created additional space so even more children can play together outside.

“A high-quality playground like this offers youngsters an alternative to computer games, and a chance to let off steam, engage their imagination, and challenge themselves in active and creative play in a natural environment - boosting their physical and mental wellbeing.

“We hope this new facility will bring huge enjoyment for many generations to come."