This was The Level in the winter of 2003. After the hurricane of 1987, which destroyed many of the huge old elm trees which surrounded it, the council had planted many new trees and work was done to improve the children’s playground. There had been a couple of skate ramps there for a few years, but work was done to extend this and it became a very popular area for both teenagers and younger children.
Between the two fake bridges was a paddling pool, and there were two separate playgrounds with swings and climbing frames – one of them fenced off for smaller children. North of the playgrounds was the green grassed area, used for travelling fairs and other activities – including dog-walking.
Then in 2013 work funded by the National Lottery was completed on a whole new playground. The old paddling pool went but in its place came a large new skate park, pétanque and boccia areas, table-tennis and chess tables, picnic tables and grassed play areas, and the Velo Cafe with its green, living roof and cycling-friendly theme.