Climbing out of the pandemic through active play

Published: Thursday, 24th March 2022

Work will soon start to install a new large climbing frame for 5 to 11 year olds at the City Council’s Hollow Way Park in Cowley.

The aim is to have the installation complete in time for the Easter school holiday, though this is dependent on there being sufficient good weather to allow the work to be done.

The design was chosen following consultation with local school children, and incorporates a combination of ropes, ladders and netting. This large piece of equipment and its safety surface is costing over £20,000, and its installation forms part of an on-going programme of play area enhancement works across the city, with different play areas benefitting each year.

There has been a significant increase in the use of parks and play areas during the pandemic, which provided a lifeline for many families. This has inevitably caused additional wear and tear, and a further £35,000 has been spent replacing and updating play area safety surfaces and sandpits at various parks over the last year. Other projects have included the installation of a new climbing frame for younger children at Rose Hill and a new all-weather surface for the football goal in Aristotle Lane Recreation ground.  



Even in these times of financial restraint, it’s vital we continue to invest in play equipment to encourage active, outdoor, physical play to maintain children’s health and wellbeing as they recover from the impacts of the pandemic. The new large climber in Hollow Way Rec will complement the existing play items in this well used local park, which also has outdoor gym equipment to encourage people of all ages to exercise while benefitting from the green setting.


“The City Council owns and manages an impressive 80 play areas across Oxford, and it’s an on-going financial challenge to maintain and enhance them, but we are committed to ensuring this vital resource for children continues to be provided free of charge wherever they live in the city.”
Councillor Lubna Arshad, Cabinet Member for Parks and Waste Reduction