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New play park slide and swing cut off at Russell Gardens, Dover, after safety fears

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A slide and swing at a brand new children’s play park have been taped off amid safety concerns.

Parents have told of mishaps plus potential dangers from the shingle surface at the site at Russell Gardens, Dover.

Out of bounds. The slide sealed off at the play park
Out of bounds. The slide sealed off at the play park

It is thought to have only opened a week ago.

A spokesman for Dover District Council said: “We have temporarily removed two pieces of play equipment in the new play area at Russell Gardens. All the play equipment was safety checked prior to opening, but we have asked for an additional review of the swing and slide in light of recent experience.

“The play area remains open for use and we’re working to have the equipment reopened as soon as possible. Parents are reminded that children should always be supervised when using play equipment.”

Grandmother Sarah Clark told KentOnline her four-year-old grandson was slightly hurt coming down the slide but others have had fingers trapped.

She said: “He only hurt his backside on the rough landing as he came off the slide.

The new play park at Russell Gardens
The new play park at Russell Gardens
The out of bounds swing with the seat removed from the chain at Russell Gardens
The out of bounds swing with the seat removed from the chain at Russell Gardens

“I see others had an issue with fingers getting caught down the side.

“We visited on Friday last week.

“There were clouds of dirt/dust from the shingle floor. Lots of children were grabbing handfuls of stones and throwing them about including up the slide to watch them slide back down.

“Kids and small stones are never a good mix. They throw them and it’s painful if you fall on them and surely they are a choking hazard.”

The issue was raised on Monday on the Facebook page Dover for Disgruntled Dovorians when Bobby-Jo Appleby commented that she had visited the site with her children the day before to find the swing seat gone and the slide sealed off.

‘So many children were flying off the slide…’

Both have notices on them saying they are temporarily closed for maintenance.

But Ms Appleby said: “The swing I can understand, I saw a few children’s legs smack into the wood. The slide I don’t understand, as the one up Connaught (Park) you fly off too.”

Nicola Hall replied on the Facebook page: “The swing was dangerous the other day and so many children were flying off the slide. I thought this may happen.”

Alyshia Richardson commented: “First thing my five-year-old did was grab a handful of stones and chuck them. We left pretty much straight away.”

Chloe Freeman said: “I went with my children last week and there was a couple of kids there picking up two handfuls of stones and lobbing them up in the air. I grabbed my kids and left.”

Jenna Gill said: “Went there the other day and the amount of children going down the slide and then crying after flying off was unbelievable. Its very fast.”

But some felt the safety fears were overstated.

Ross Edwards said: “Health and safety going mad. Kids still bounce like they used to.”

James Pearce commented: “I saw about 500 kids go down (the slide) over three hours and not one accident.”

James Wright remarked: “For God’s sake its a park. Kids play and more importantly learn if they fall off.”

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

Dover Kent Sam Lennon



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