A PLAY area and cycle training track is set to be created at Stratford Recreation Ground as part of the controversial Riverside Green Corridor Project.
It aims to create a green corridor by connecting the riverside at Fisherman’s car park off Warwick Road, to Lucy’s Mill.
Stratford District Council will build the developments on land close to the Tramway footpath and it is expected to open by the end of this month.
The timber play area will be aimed at children aged between seven and 14 and will include a 30m zipwire, a group swing, a climbing unit with a bridge, totem poles, and a ‘embankment slide’ which can be accessed from the Tramway.
The cycle track will feature imitations of pedestrian crossings, roundabouts and other road features to enable children to learn the basics of cycling in a safe environment.
The work is part of the wider Green Corridor Project to create a country park, which the council says will help Stratford’s economy recover post-Covid by reducing traffic congestion, providing green routes into the town centre, and revitalising the riverside area.
But environmental campaigners fear the plans, which includes an extension to the Fisherman’s car park, will damage meadows and wildlife habitat.
District council operations spokesman Coun Ian Shenton said: “We’re really looking forward to starting work on the new play area and cycle track.
“We realised that there wasn’t a lot of provision for older children in Stratford. Although there’s already a play area in the Recreation Ground, it’s predominately for children aged between two and six.
“We’re excited to give older children a fantastic new playground for them to enjoy, whether they’re local to Stratford or visiting with their family and friends.
“We also think the cycle track will be a great way for children learning to ride a bike to get the basics of cycling mastered without having to go onto roads initially.
“Both of these projects all tie into the Riverside Green Corridor Project, which will really enhance the space and encourage more people into Stratford town centre while easing congestion too.
“When the situation with Covid-19 improves, I hope plenty of children will enjoy the new facilities.”
The Riverside Green Corridor Project has been provided with £1.5 million of funding from the Government’s Getting Building Fund.
As well as expanding the car park by 500 spaces, the design also includes transforming the riverside at its front into a watersports and swimming area.