29th January 2021

Hundreds of children will have the chance to learn about the natural world– and get muddy – at an urban ‘oasis’ in south London.


The ‘green prescription’ scheme run by the charity Oasisplay allows youngsters from toddlers to teenagers to take part in environmental learning sessions and activities such as pond-dipping, bug-hunting and growing and cooking their own food.

Sessions are centred around the organisation’s nature garden in Stockwell, which allows children to escape the urban jungle, roam free and let their imagination run wild.

The project, expected to benefit around 250 youngsters, is being made possible thanks to a £70,500 grant from City Bridge Trust – the City of London Corporation’s charity funder.

More here

London play news
London Play has joined academics and other play campaigners in calling on the government to support 'a summer of play' to help children recover from the stress of lockdown and a year of Covid upheaval.
Play Research & Reports
LONDON: Around £400,000 has been awarded to 29 London primary schools to fund new green barriers to protect children from toxic air in school playgrounds.

Two thirds of London’s adventure playground organisations report that they are now delivering new services, with many becoming vital hubs for food distribution.

Adventure playground organisations have been quietly supporting children and families in some of the capital’s most disadvantaged communities for decades. So it is no surprise that our recent survey confirms they have adapted quickly to respond to the huge additional challenges these same families now face in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Adventure playgrounds may have closed their gates to children in person, but two months into lockdown, it is clear that they are not resting on their laurels. Two thirds of the adventure playground organisations which responded to London Play’s recent survey report that they are now delivering new services, with many becoming vital hubs for food distribution. Others are moving their play offer online and some are delivering emergency play packs to their most vulnerable families.

As demand for food banks soar, the team at Max Roach Adventure Playground in Lambeth is delivering ‘happy lunches’ and play packs by bicycle to their most vulnerable users. Nearby Grove Adventure Playground is also using two wheels to deliver food parcels while Haringey’s Somerford Grove has seen a big increase in demand for the fresh surplus food it is distributing from the Felix Project .

Other adventure playgrounds have adapted their play services – with some, in particular those catering specifically for children with special needs, opening on a very limited (often family by family) basis over recent weeks. These include Haringey’s Markfield, Haywards in Islington, The Ark in Newham and Kids Adventure Playground in Hackney and all have put in place rigorous cleaning regimes and updated risk assessments.

For playgrounds whose gates remain closed, ingenuity in developing online play ideas and resources is much in evidence. In Islington, Awesome CIC has set up the ‘Adventurers Hangout’ featuring a treasure trove of films with playful ideas. From Lambeth, the Triangle Play Zone offers children a weekly timetable with Zoom and Houseparty play and games sessions, nature club activities and videos, fitness and boxing sessions. Weekly challenge videos are a highlight, including Toilet roll kick ups and paper plane flying. And who could fail to raise a smile with Redbridge’s ELHAP Monday morning disco this week?

Social distancing
But as one survey respondent pointed out, these online initiatives “do not replace play,” and adventure playground teams, concerned about children being stuck inside for so long, are keen to welcome them back in person as soon as possible. There are big questions about how social distancing will be implemented when playgrounds are able to open again and whether such limitations on play will in fact be counterproductive to children’s wellbeing. Triangle trustee Anne-Marie Martin said: “Clearly attendance will be limited, and it is hard to reconcile the ethos of adventure play with social distancing, but I am sure we will find a way.”

In the meantime, although 80 per cent of playground organisations have had to furlough workers, a majority of those still working are using the time away from running physical face to face sessions to ensure that they are in a strong position when they are able to resume; writing funding proposals and carrying out essential maintenance on their playgrounds.

Says Harriet Simmons, manager of the Adventure Play Hub: “Our playground has had some much needed TLC and we’ve been working with volunteers on re-decorating and other repairs. We’ve attended funding opportunities and support/advice cluster meetings via Zoom which has been very useful.”

The number of children seeking help for mental health problems increased by 28% during the pandemic, new figures have revealed.


We have loads of free tips and resources for playgrounds, play workers and anyone passionate about adventure play. Click here to go to our Resources section

London Play has won nearly £100k in funding to support adventure playgrounds and ensure the capital’s most vulnerable children can enjoy a summer of play.

London Play press release

With adventure playgrounds preparing to reopen in very different guises this summer, funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, will enable London Play to ensure that adventurous play is within reach of those children and families who could otherwise be excluded from their offer.

The Neighbourhood Play Havens project will give families a private hour of play at least once a week, in safe local spaces – including those that  have a member who is clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus.

Many playgrounds are planning to open for pre-booked consistent groups or bubbles of up to 15 children. This will limit the overall number of children who are able to attend during the summer period and will also be likely to exclude those children who are living with vulnerable family members – or are themselves extremely vulnerable to coronavirus.

We will work with five London adventure playgrounds to enable children and their families who are most in need to experience a free weekly hour-long play session in their local safe space to play. Play workers will also benefit from specialised training to help adapt their practice and enable them to support quality play experiences in the context of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Play Haven is a 'godsend'
It's good to be back
What a difference a bubble makes
London Play Press Releases
Inviting groups of children from across London to converge in a field, rub shoulders designing and building go karts from scratch, and then race them side by side was a BIG no-no this year. But London Play found a way to make the hotly-anticipated go kart events happen
London play news
With residential camps on hold for now, Camp Build has gone on tour to bring the unique building adventure to playgrounds across the capital.


Click here to go to our play map and find adventure playgrounds, play streets and all our other favourite places to play in London.