Newly upgraded Whitehorse Rec reopens to the public

Whitehorse Recreation Ground has reopened this morning (5 April) after £85k in government funding was used to make significant improvements to the park.

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

During the ceremony, Mayor Perry and local residents helped to plant a tree and scatter wildflower seeds in the improved community garden.

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

Plans for how to spend the funds were created in partnership with local community groups and organisations, working closely with Councillor Roche.

The council has made it easier for everyone to enjoy the park by improving entrances and walkways, the general appearance of the park and reopening the old messroom – which will provide much-needed activity space for community groups.

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.”

Anne Crump, member of the Friends of Whitehorse Rec said: “We’re pleased to have the support in rejuvenating the space, because it really needed more seating. Space to sit and rest is really valuable, and the carvings are so lovely.

“This park is well-used, and we know it will be well-used in the future. We welcome more community residents to come join us in caring for the park. It’s so good for your health to be out in nature.”

Jason Perry

“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.

“Improving this park for the local community has already made a difference, as we can see how much local people value our green spaces. 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.”

Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon

Barnabas Shelbourne, Chief Executive of Legacy Youth Zone said: “We are delighted with the rejuvenation of the Whitehorse Road park, for so long it has been a concern in regard to safety particularly for young people and Legacy Youth Zone members. With the cutting back of the shrubs, painting of the hut, as well as the introduction of the sculptures, new seating, and trees, it has created a really welcoming and open space that will hopefully draw families and the wider community in to use it more. Especially with more daylight, it will provide a nice place to spend summer days!”

2023-04-06T10:33:08+01:00 April 5th, 2023|Recent news|