As someone who lives very close to Chivarly Road playground, and with kids aged 2 and 5, we use the playground almost daily and were delighted with the improvement.
However, like many of the others who use the playground that I have been chatting to since the renovations, we feel the playground is fantastic for older children, but not great for young ones. I think it could be improved greatly just by adding a few "holding ropes" on the wooden structure so the younger children could walk on it more safely.
I have raised the concerns with Wandsworth but they said I was the only one to complain, so therefore they weren't inclined to act on it.
If you feel this way, would you mind sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org outlining this (or any other concerns you might have)? Please make sure to be clear that these concerns are about the Chivalry road playground.
Update 1st August: Thanks to all the emails sent, I have just received the following response and a meeting will be taking place at the playground at 3 pm next Tuesday, 6th August. Admin, is there any chance to highlight this to everyone? If you are passionate about this topic and free, please do come along!
Dear Maja, I have prepared a response to everyone who has emailed in so far and I would be grateful if you could circulate it amongst your network. In the meantime I will respond to enquiries as they come in. I would like to start by thanking you for your concerns. We are always keen to hear how refurbishments have been received by the local communities they serve. We have received a number of comments regarding the suitability of the refurbished playground for toddler aged children, predominantly focussed on the main climbing unit. In regard to these concerns it is correct that much of the new equipment is more challenging than beforehand and this is to provide a better offer for junior age children given that the other three playgrounds on the Common are geared more towards younger children. Our process for refurbishing Chivalry Road playground involved engaging the community in two rounds of consultation to reach a final design. After the second round of consultation we responded to feedback about making the playground more toddler friendly by adding a toddler mound slide and two additional swings, which has resulted in a net increase to the total number of swings in the playground. This is in addition to the ti-pi/leaf lab area, toddler swings and seesaw which are already geared towards toddlers. Given the space restrictions at Chivalry Road playground there is no room to add additional toddler units/equipment given the spacing required around existing units (to prevent collisions) and the problems of placing units in the wooded area which could disturb tree roots. Despite the above we would still like to address your concerns to make sure the playground is as safe as possible for all age groups. Therefore we have spoken with the manufacturer about the main unit to sound out potential adjustments. A strong caveat here is that alterations will not be made if they compromise safety by 1) creating toddler accessible routes to higher areas of the climbing unit which have not been designed for toddlers (at least not without adult supervision) and 2) creating unintended play opportunities for older children which result in the creation of new risks that haven’t been planned for. We expect to hear back from the manufacturer in the next couple of days after which time I would be happy to meet parents at the playground to go through any potential adjustments (and/or reasons why they can’t be made). Other issuesCollision risk from swings – have been assessed in relation to safety and spacing and found safe by a fully qualified independent play inspector. However we would advise parents and guardians to supervise young children around swings.Splinters, black plastic screw protectors – have been flagged up with the contractor and will be dealt with in the next couple of weeksSpinning wheel – unit is suitable for junior aged children. Toddlers should be supervised around this unit.Gates – will be replaced by gates with an inbuilt closing mechanism as per all recently refurbished Wandsworth playgrounds. Finally we would like to remind people that Chivalry Road is one of four playgrounds on the Common with the others (next to Skylark Café, St Mark's and Windmill playground) offering a good range of play for younger children. This will be especially true with the opening of the refurbished playground next to St Mark’s Church within the next couple of weeks and the planned refurbishment of Windmill playground next year. Both St Mark's and Windmill are specifically aimed at the younger age group. Regarding an informal chat at Chivalry to discuss adjustments to the main unit I’m free between 3-4pm next Tuesday 6th August so please email back if this would be helpful to you. Thanks again for your concerns.