The revamped play area at Bancroft Recreation Ground in Hitchin boasts trampolines, climbing nets, swing sets and a roller-running disk.

North Herts Council, with the help of landscape architects at Groundwork East, has remodelled the area to improve the play experience for children aged around five to 12, by making it safer, brighter and more inviting.

Sarah Kingsley, the council's service director for place, said: "We’re so happy to have the area open again. It really is a fabulous makeover!

"In response to feedback from consultations, the area has been redesigned to incorporate more swings and climbing opportunities, softer landscaping, picnic tables, and we’ve retained and refurbished the pirate ship."

The Comet: The area has been redesigned to incorporate more climbing opportunities.The area has been redesigned to incorporate more climbing opportunities. (Image: North Herts Council)

Catherine Browne, landscape architect at environmental charity Groundwork East, added: "There is a great deal of new play equipment in a more considered layout with accompanying sensory planting, which really transforms the area into a lovely space for lots of people to enjoy.

"We have particularly tried to expand the play provision to include play for children - and adults - with diverse needs, and ensured we made space for women and girls within the design by expanding provision for imaginative play and storytelling, not to mention removing as much hard surfacing as possible to create a more climate-resilient and cooler play area.

"Everyone has worked immensely hard on this project. We hope you love it as much as we do."

The Comet: Swing sets are among the new equipment in the play area.Swing sets are among the new equipment in the play area. (Image: North Herts Council)

Sarah concluded: "We know this is a popular spot, so thanks for people’s patience with the slight delay with reopening, although it was really disappointing to hear of the abuse and intimidation one of our contractors suffered by people complaining that it was closed. We do not tolerate abuse against staff or contractors.

"In addition, we’ve heard of children and adults being in the closed area, which is not safe, and could have resulted in injury and damaged equipment that council tax payers would end up paying for."