Changes at the Wet Play area

The sand-pit in the wet play area has been removed.

Sand and water do not mix well, except by the sea and there have been ongoing problems from sand getting into the plumbing for the water sprays, which have been expensive to fix and have put the wet play area out of action many times.

We had hoped it might be possible to have a new fountain that children could run through installed where the sand used to be but this would involve a very expensive and lengthy modification, so was out of the question. A pity but the grass is nice for sunbathing.WP_20170516_14_50_20_Pro

The sand at the Playground will stay!

11 thoughts on “Changes at the Wet Play area

  1. Alice

    This is a younger childrens sandpit that small children benefit from all year round. The larger playground in Brockwell park caters for older children so this playground was a safe haven for carers of younger ones. It is a perfect set up in which tiny kids can safely play in the sand while carers can see across the entire site.
    The water is only turned on for a few months in the year. The decision to grass over the sandpit area without consultation with the families who use the facility in a daily basis is absurd. And the thought of ‘sunbathing’ with under 3’s is an irresponsible statement. Bring back the sandpit!

  2. Who thought this was a good idea? Was there ANY consulatation with the hundreds of families with babies and toddlers who use the SAND PIT 365 DAYS A YEAR???? YES 365 DAYS A YEAR!!!!!! The water is only on for a maximum of 6 months a year (if that), the sand pit serves everyone ALL YEAR. I would hapilly LIST THE HUNDREDS OF TIMES I HAVE BEEN IN THE SAND PIT AT 9AM out of water season and WE HAD AN AWESOME TIME. THIS IS A MASSIVE MISTAKE.

  3. Helen

    There are so many parents of small children who have used the sandpit who are outraged with the thoughtless removal of the sandpit. We ask the Brockwell Community Partners on the forum to respond to the below:

    Please can you let us know answers to the following:
    1) Was there a consultation? If so, what were the findings? If not, why not?

    Absolutely every parent spoken to is against the removal of the sandpit. As Alice and Sam say below on this forum it is a space for the little ones to play in, it is the bigger kids who can play in the other sand in the playground. The water is great during hot days in the summer but the sandpit is used to great effect throughout the year. Many parents and carers who use the sandpit do not have a garden space and for them this is the only access to an outside sand play and development. Removing it has deprived the under 3’s in Lambeth and beyond of an invaluable opportunity for safe, educational and creative play. Replacing it with grass for ‘sunbathing’ will certainly not benefit those children.

    2) How do we go about reinstating the much loved sandpit?

    We call for the sandpit to be reinstated in the public interest. We would appreciate full details of the appeals process we must take in this instance to get this decision reversed and the sandpit reinstated.

    Thank you

  4. Dave

    The consultation was defective because it was through BPCP which only represents certain elected park group members plus a handful of elected individuals of the grey haired variety whose children have long fled the family home. The Friends of Brockwell Park have a slightly wider membership of individuals but still limited as they charge an annual membership fee. Therefore would it have hurt to conduct a brief questionnaire survey of people that actually use the facility – paper and/or online? But then that would lead to views expressed above which do not accord with Council / BPCP policy. What a shame for local kids and their parents.

  5. We agree. It is a pity that the sand had to be removed.
    No, there was not a formal consultation; Lambeth Parks asked us for agreement to remove it and we did agree. They have been wanting to do so for a long time. Ever since the wet play area was set up, during the restoration of the landscape by the Heritage Lottery Fund, there have been problems with sand getting into the machinery and causing damage and breakdown of the jets. This is costly to repair and not appreciated by the public. Lambeth Parks are now trying to run and manage Lambeth’s 65 parks and open spaces on a very restricted budget and have limited money for repair bills. It seems that we can have sand, or water but not both.

    While the restoration was going on, users of what was then the Paddling Pool campaigned long and hard to keep the area as a play space for small children and to have water jets for the summer. When the landscape consultants suggested a sandpit, the users did their best to stop this happening (for the practical reasons above) but to no avail. Essentially we now have what they wanted then: the area is still an attractive and safe play-space for small children with water in the summer. We would like to keep the water play.

    The BPCP is a group of around 30 park stakeholder groups, which includes the Friends of Brockwell Park and its members are the combined membership of all the constituent organisations. Yes, quite a few of us (but not all) are of the grey and wrinkly persuasion and a lot of us have grandchildren……

  6. Dave

    The restoration took place some years ago and the users then are not necessarily the users now – hence the need for effective consultation and proper representation of users within park groups.

  7. We know that.
    However, Lambeth has a moral obligation to try to keep the Wet Play facility open. It represents a considerable investment by the Heritage Lottery Fund in play for local children and is one of a very few wet play facilities available locally. The presence of sand has made this task almost impossible. It is mad to continue with both.
    The water supply should be up and running again now; the electronic controls were replaced last week.

    1. Lucy Ritchie

      We went to the ‘wet’ play area last weekend. The fountains were on but there was really no water. There were about 20 kids huddled under 2 dripping fountains trying to get wet. This used to be a proper wet play area. Last year it was bad but last week it was even worse. Now that the sandpit is gone, are you at least going to fully restore the water to how it used to be when it was first opened?

      1. Dear Lucy,
        We have posted an explanation on the website. At present the wet play is being supplied from the mains instead of the water recycling system and the mains pressure in the park is low and rather variable. The pump which usually powers the water pressure is not working properly and needs to be replaced or repaired. Lambeth are opting for a repair because it can be dealt with more quickly and they expect to have this completed in a week.
        Best wishes

  8. The wet play is being run from the mains at a present because the recycling pump, which normally powers the water flow is in need of repair. Lambeth tell us that it should be fixed in a week. A replacement would take much longer, so they are opting for a repair.
    The mains pressure in the park is not high, which accounts for the unsatisfactory flow and it varies during the day.
    Yes, the intention is to get the wet play back to how it originally was.

  9. Tootingon

    Whoever thought it would be a good idea to put large rocks in the wet area? Toddler was having a good time but we had to be on high alert in case she slipped and landed on a rock, which she did, eventually. I mean, really, why would anyone think that was a good idea????

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