THE new playground in Walpole Park, Ealing, is now open.

It replaces the old Walpole play space and is separated into two distinct areas: one for toddlers and pre-schoolers and an area of more challenging play for older children.

The toddler area is fully enclosed by sheep hurdle fencing, reminiscent of the former cow yard that once occupied the site.

A large sand pit provides a safe environment for children to explore the playhouse with a climbing net and wide slide, mini roundabout and wobbly sheep.

There is also a ‘Jack Straws’ see-saw for little ones who feel more adventurous and a Wendy house and storytelling chair for quiet play or role-play games.

Older children can try their hand at the large climbing ‘forest’, which features daring rope walks and bridges and an extra high slide.

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment, brought his four-year-old son Alexander to the new playground.

He said: “This is a really fantastic play space that I know parents and children alike have been itching to get into with so many interesting and exciting elements.”

The new playground is part of a wider scheme of improvements to Walpole Park that has been going on since September last year and is funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £2.4m.

Other improvements include: restoring the heritage bridge, stonework and water features, restoring the pond, re-landscaping the bridge and surrounding area and re-surfacing and widening footpaths. A new education centre, The Rickyard, will also house a refreshment kiosk and visitor toilets. It is due to open in the autumn.