Newly refurbished sports and play facilities have officially opened in Maple Cross – packed full of brand new equipment and improvements to cater for all abilities and all ages.

The new facilities at the council-owned Denham Way Playing Fields were officially opened at an open day on Saturday (13 May) by the Chair of Three Rivers District Council Cllr Debbie Morris. The improvements include a new play area, a skate park and three new floodlit tennis courts to support a community tennis club Get Set 4 Tennis.

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The site has been transformed and includes a new play area, outdoor calisthenic gym, skate park with a bump track and a table tennis table. The new tennis courts have been constructed using the latest in low level-eco-friendly lighting, which have been designed by the School Renovation Company. The new pathway around the perimeter of the field provides year-round access for all.

The improvements include a refurbished pavilion with a fully equipped kitchen facility and outdoor serving hatch, a refurbished indoor space, new toilets and a newly laid patio. The pavilion now provides an excellent facility for anyone wishing to hire it for events or activities.

The refurbishment of the playing fields and facilities has included the development of new habitats to encourage biodiversity in the grassland and woodland areas including a seasonal pond, which introduces a new habitat for amphibians such as frogs, toads and newts. There are log piles houses, a stag beetle loggery, a reptile habitat bank, bug hotels and bird boxes around the site, all providing a safe home to nest. The pupils and teachers at Maple Cross JMI School came along to help the building team construct the reptile bank and the huge bug hotel, which are all made from recycled materials and the bird boxes that the pupils built, are placed around the site and in the school grounds.

Cllr Chris Lloyd, the district council’s Lead Member for Leisure, said: “It is wonderful to see these new facilities being provided at Denham Way, I am delighted that this project has been such a success and I know it will offer so many new opportunities for lots of people to make good use of these playing fields. Many thanks to everyone who has made these exciting plans a reality.”

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Hannah Trickett, Co-Head Teacher at Maple Cross JMI School, added: “The pupils, staff and school community have been privileged to be part of such an exciting project within our local community. The children were galvanised to make a visible difference to where they play and were passionate to enhance the natural world. The children also had an opportunity to create bird boxes which have been put up around school.  A massive thanks to all those at Three Rivers who have made this project a reality.  “

Cllr Debbie Morris, the Chair of the district council said: “This is a fabulous refurbishment with lots of new and exciting equipment for the local community to use. Thank you to all of those who contributed their views in the recent survey and a special thanks to the pupils and staff at Maple Cross JMI. I am delighted with the newly refurbished sport and play facilities which provide something special for local people.”