Dunmow play area’s the best in its field

ONE of Dunmow’s play areas has been named the best in the county.

At the Essex Playing Field Association’s annual Best Kept Playing Field awards, the Recreation Ground was awarded first place in the children’s playground category.

It was also runner-up for playing fields serving communities of more than 2,500 people.

Councillors Gwynn Davies and David Beedle attended the awards last Thursday held at Essex County Cricket Club in Chelmsford.

Cllr Davies said: “Our equipment at the Recreation Ground is excellent and very well used by children, especially during half-term. The council has inspectors review each of the town’s play areas every year to tell us what needs replacing.

“We have certificates for the play areas at Talberds Ley and Millfields and a trophy for the Recreation Ground.”

Director of the Essex Playing Field Association Malcolm Webb said the competition was judged on three broad criteria: the range of equipment and whether it is suitable for toddlers, pre-teens and teenagers; the standard of maintenance; and the site as a whole.

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Mr Webb said: “The Causeway play area has lots of challenging equipment that encourages development, which is very important because children don’t just want a seesaw and a swing. They want something more challenging with the risk that they might tumble off, which is fine ... it’s part of growing up.”

In the judge’s marking sheet the final comment stated it was “a very impressive play area – the equipment is appealing, accessible for the disabled, well laid out”.

The Causeway play area was officially opened in May by then-mayor Wendy Barron after the town council secured a �20,000 government grant.