Croydon’s Whitehorse Rec reopens after £85K improvements

A recreation ground has reopened with seven new sculptures carved by pupils in the area, after a period of improvements.

Yesterday morning a recreation ground in Croydon reopened after £85,000 in government funding was used to make improvements to the park.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place with Executive Mayor Jason Perry, Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Scott Roche, and local community members in attendance.

During the ceremony, Mayor Perry and residents helped to plant a tree and scatter wildflower seeds in the improved Whitehorse recreation ground.

One of the sculptures in the Whitehorse recreation ground (Picture: Croydon council)

In September, Croydon was selected by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUCH) to benefit from £85,000 in funding, specifically to be used for three types of projects, one of which is to improve parks and green spaces.

The council has made it easier for everyone to enjoy the park by improving entrances and walkways and the general appearance of the park.

There are seven magnificent wooden sculptures that now line the new pathways. These bespoke carvings – as well as the two new benches in the community garden – were sculpted by hand, using recycled Western Red Cedar logs that were saved from being scrap timber.

Pupils from local schools Elmwood Junior and Broadmead Primary took part in the carving back in March, lending a hand in making the beautiful designs come to life.

Works have also been completed to upgrade and expand the community garden, including building a composting bay. The new chalk wildflower meadow – completed during the ceremony – will see 25 specially-chosen species of native wildflowers bloom this year, supporting pollinators to thrive.

There has also been investment to increase the tree canopy within the park, adding 33 new trees, which will provide shade and benefits for local fauna.

Alodia Alvarino-Baeza , Year Four Elmwood Junior School pupil said: “I really like all the new carvings and sculptures. My favourite is the dragon. I can’t wait to see the wildflowers when they bloom.

“I think it was so important to do this because some people will come and see the park looks really nice now, and they won’t want to litter in it.”

Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon said: “Securing investment in Whitehorse Rec has been a really important part of our plans to clean up Croydon and make it a place where residents are proud to call home.

“Whitehorse Rec is now a much nicer, more inviting place to let the kids play, get some exercise, and take the dog for walkies, and we really appreciate government’s support to make this possible. Further, I want to thank all the community members and council staff for their hard work bringing the plans to life and making the most of the funds.”

Pictured top: Residents with the new sculptures (Picture: Croydon council)

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Croydon – South London News