Due to safety concerns, we have made the difficult decision to permanently close Kingston Gate Playground in Richmond Park.
The small playground is under the canopy of four large mature oak trees measuring up to 25m high. All these trees have symptoms of Acute Oak Decline. In addition, climate change has led to an increasing occurrence of extreme weather events, meaning there may be a greater risk of branches being shed without warning, and therefore this site is no longer a suitable location for a children’s playground.
However, play is of great importance to The Royal Parks, and therefore we are currently undertaking a play audit of our playgrounds, which will help us prioritise investment in formal play provision, across all the parks including Richmond Park. We will look to implement the recommendations from the audit as soon as possible.
Petersham Gate Playground in Richmond Park remains open for children of all ages and the wider park presents a myriad of opportunities for young children to play in a natural environment. This includes splashing in streams and puddles, climbing over or under logs, balancing on wooden structures or the simple pleasure of playing hide and seek.