Four more Hackney playgrounds set for a spruce-up as council efforts to make borough better for children continue

A child enjoys one of the new swings at Stoke Newington Common. Photograph: Hackney Council

Hackney Council’s mission to make the borough more child-friendly continues apace – with another four play areas set for an upgrade later this year.

Families who visit Hackney Downs, Clapton Common, Stonebridge Gardens and Well Street can look forward to new swings, slides and roundabouts.

The move follows a council consultation on the proposals last year, when more than 800 locals, including schoolchildren and park users, chipped in with their thoughts.

It is part of a £2m plan to make parks more exciting for children that kicked off in February with improvements at four other parks.

Butterfield Green, Haggerston Park, Clapton Square and Stoke Newington Common are now adorned with fresh equipment and landscaping features such as boulders and tree trunks.

The Town Hall has also set aside cash to refurbish the public toilets in Clissold Park, resurface a football pitch in Haggerston Park, and provide new air source heat pumps that can warm up park buildings in an environmentally-friendly way.

On top of that, £1m will be dedicated to making sure paths in parks are up to scratch and accessible to all over the next three years.

Cllr Caroline Woodley, cabinet member for families, parks and leisure, said: “Hackney has some of the very best parks in London, and we know how much our residents – many of whom don’t have their own green space – value them.

“This investment in new play areas, a sports pitch, toilets and accessible paths is part of our commitment to an inclusive and greener, healthier Hackney – with everyone able to access high quality green space near them.”

Earlier this year, the council fulfilled a 2018 pledge to plant 5,000 new trees. It also launched an online map where residents can find information on more than 45,000 council-maintained trees across the borough.

Cllr Woodley said at the time: “We’re passionate about greening the grey in Hackney – replacing previously grey areas with trees, planting and rain gardens to help create a greener, healthier borough.

“We want to share information about the trees we’ve planted and ensure that every resident is able to benefit from a closer connection to nature.

“This new tree map is an amazing achievement – showcasing the variety of species we have in Hackney.”