(1) Have you heard of a cut, cutback or closure? ……………… & Welcome!


or, to give it its full name:



PLAY IN PERIL Index of Endangered Services



is a small independent group of concerned people.

We are not affiliated to, or controlled by, any organisation.

We are unfunded and all our volunteers work for free.

Have a look at the other pages for background and

to read about the role of supporters and suchlike.

Updated:  Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at  10:09.



!!!                        PLAY IS IN PERIL                         !!!


(and especially in England).


Welcome to the PLAY IN PERIL Index of Endangered Services. We aim to document any and all cuts, cutbacks and closures of ‘play environments’ (which is just shorthand for anything that offers play opportunities to children, such as a play area, a childcare facility, play centre, park, a school playing field or adventure playground). Play in Peril is purely an information gathering and sharing index, NOT a campaign.


IF you know of a play project (playscheme, play centre, after-school club, play-based childcare, hospital play, anything that offers play, not forgetting adventure playgrounds), that is being cut, cutback or closed,  that has gone completely, or is just limping along, maybe only open for one or two sessions a week with almost no staff or volunteers . . .


click the BIG RED BUTTON! – it’s up near the top, on the right, and FILE A REPORT!

Thank you.


A warm welcome: a short introduction

Original Text

under continued revision

Updated: Thursday, March 14, 2013, 17:15

A warm welcome to PLAY IN PERIL: to anyone who wants to help, to share, to advise or encourage.

We’re currently in the process of merging a couple of pages to form a more succinct introduction. Stick with it! Apologies if you’ve already got used to the layout and then it shifts a little again. It’ll settle down.

Please also read the other pages, which are more up to date than this Welcome section.

Please share information here about play facilities, playgrounds, et cetera in peril (mainly England in the UK)

This is a ‘listblog’ — it is essentially a collection point for information. We want to gather information on cuts in funding to the list of the bad things happening to play. As we build the list we can try to come together to do something about it, collectively and peacefully, rather than talking about it. So initially it is just a list: so it is called a listblog. Simples.


Please share information here about play facilities, playgrounds, et cetera in peril (mainly England, in the UK)

Join some people ‘not prepared to sit and watch as

50 years of hard work go down the pan!’


PLAY IN PERIL: if your play facility, club, group, adventure playground, play centre, after-school play project . . . whatever . . . is under threat — TELL US!

click this link


and add your information with as much detail as you can in a comment!


12 thoughts on “(1) Have you heard of a cut, cutback or closure? ……………… & Welcome!

  1. “Gives us all the facts you can — who, what, where, when, how and why.
    Include a contact name or an email please.”

    contact name – Arthur Battram
    email – arthur.battram.plexityATgmailDOTcom
    I’m filing this report for Play in Peril on:
    place – Grantham
    local authority – South Kesteven DC.
    local authority website – http://www.southkesteven.gov.uk/
    county – Lincolnshire
    cut/cutback/closure – cuts and cutbacks leading to almost nothing, but short of actual closure.

    Grantham is the largest town in South Kesteven, the others are small more rural towns in a mainly agricultural area. I can’t comment on SKDC as a whole, just Grantham, and only since 2009.

    Summer play provision is pretty much all there is, although there may be under14s sessions in one youth club (youth clubs have closed)was, in 2012, a mix of special days at various sports centres and youth centres and days in parks. Last year there were about 5 or 6 such, in I think 2 locations so lets say 3 days at two locations, both near town centre, not aware of anything on outer estates.

    The year before there was more, and I believe in 2010 there were 2 or 3 playschemes providing several hours per day, but not a full day of free activity.

    Grantham has never had much provision, and recent years have seen what was provided moving from a number of small playschemes, running for a few weeks in the summer, on the outer estates, to less and less of that and more of the big flashy family fun day, play day type thing. I guess this impresses elected members, gets the council on the front page of the local rag and makes the officers think that they have fooled the general public into thinking they are doing more. If there was a plan at officer level (which I don’t think there is, there never is, it was to muck the provision about so that everyone is confused, then use low numbers as an excuse to cancel it. I don’t believe for one moment that was the plan, but that is the effect that I observe. Again and again we see good local government staff trying to do their best to spread less margarine thinner and thinner until you need to send the bread to the lab to detect the marg.). PlayDay doesn’t help – unintended consequence. Play Day is seen as a godsend by cash-strapped shire boroughs – a flashy spectacle that ticks lots of boxes without a big commitment or budget. Sure Play Day can be a powerful catalyst in areas that have developed play, but in Grantham it simply lets them off the hook.

    That paragraph above is a strange mix of speculation and conspiracy, leavened with a few facts. All I’m saying is that from the outside, observing the effects year on year, it is AS IF there is a conspiracy, but there really isn’t – it just looks like that if you can’t see under the bonnet. It’s a shorthand. All the players have their drivers, and we can no more blame an elected member for wanting photos in the press in the lead up to re-election than we can blame your cat for eating mice. It’s what the species does.

    So here in Grantham we are probably back to the 1950s in terms of provision – the usual amateur sports clubs, cricket, football, boxing, struggling on despite over-regulation, offering ‘junior’ sections ,and a few family fun days.

    That’s all have in terms of who, what, where, when, how and why.

    There might be a case, later on, for Plip ( = Play in Peril) to email each local authority and ask them to check the report. They might be keen to share more information.

  2. Bristol’s adenture playgrounds remain shrouded under grat uncertainty over their future.
    Windmill Hill City Farm Adventure Playground (WHCFAPG) closed this last week (http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/Bristol-s-Windmill-Hill-City-Farm-closes/story-18021185-detail/story.html#axzz2NJzgf11S). The other other playgrounds face much uncertainty over their future and how they will be run under the new management that is overseeing how they will progress. Little information on this is available at this poit, but I will repost when I know more.

    • thanks Eduarrdo.

      When you file a proper report, use a format like this one, soon we hope to have a proper from for it, but we don’t yet…

      Who, what, where, when, how and why. –
      contact name –
      email –
      I’m filing this report for Play in Peril on:
      place – Grantham
      local authority –
      local authority website – http://www. gov.uk/
      county – Grantham
      cut/cutback/closure –

      sort of thing

  3. The City of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, once had up to 8 adventure playgrounds, supported by local voluntary committees and the Council The council killed off most of the voluntary committees by insisting on controlling the staff from the town hall and other strategems which deprived them of decisionmaking on their own behalf. The Peterborough Play Council which campaigned for play in the city and spawned many innovations was also killed off. Recently the council voted to close the remaining directly-run free to use playcentres.

    These had been run down over the years to opening only 2 sessions a week, depriving most children of anywhere safe to play after school and in the holidays Needless to say Peterborough has a high proportion of families living in poverty and a huge housing waitinglist. One adventure playground continues to operate in the city – the New Ark. This has been largely self-financing since it opened on its present site in 1981 with UN Year of the Child funding. The voluntary committee which operates it and its 25 paid staff and 100+ volunteers are waiting with bated breath to learn whether the small portion of its funding still provided by the council will continue, and if so how much. Registration fees will have to increased in any case, but as the playground has top OFSTED grading, parents are prepared to continue to pay them to ensure that their children can play under skilled playworkers care every night after school and all day in the holidays. For further information see New Ark Adventure Playground’s website, and/or call 01733 340605.

  4. Excellent data, Donne.

    I think you covered all the boxes – who what where when, local authority, etcetera.


    Plip, as we are calling it ( PLIP – play in peril , not to be confused with PiP – play inclusion project)
    will only be of any value if we keep getting people to ‘file reports’ here. ‘Filing a report’ is what we are now calling it, to avoid confusion with ‘posting a comment’ or ‘writing a blog post’.

    So please, anyone reading this, get all your play chums to come here and file reports.

  5. Contact name: Yanina Koszalinski, member of Pitsmoor Adventure Playground Users Group
    email: yanink@blueyonder.co.uk
    I’m filing this report for Play in Peril on Pitsmoor (& Highfields) Adventure Playground
    Place: Pitsmoor – Burngreave ward (& Highfields – Central ward) Sheffield
    Local Authority: Sheffield City Council
    Local Authority website: http://www.sheffield.gov.uk
    County: South Yorkshire

    Sheffield City Council’s Activity Sheffield dept is removing staff from the two remaining adventure playgrounds situated at Highfields and Pitsmoor and want to close the buildings to make them available for groups to hire. Both Pitsmoor and Highfields areas have high levels of multiple deprivation with incidences of gun and knife crime over recent years. The adventure playgrounds provide a safe haven for many children alongside the many benefits of freely chosen adventurous play. Without consultation the council have made many changes, painting over children’s art work, not allowing anything to be put on the wall unless it’s pinned to a notice board, self build equipment is being removed on the grounds of safety, at Pitsmoor the local community has offered to help with repairs but suddenly the structure has become too high, although this has previously not been an issue.

    Two campaign groups have formed and agreement has been reached for a transitional period between April – June where staffing is reduced on a weekly basis down to staff available for 2x 2hour sessions per week. These changes, even with the concession of a transitional period will seriously undermine the future of adventure play in Sheffield.

    As a member of the Pitsmoor Adventure Playground User group I have concerns about what this means for the children. Pitsmoor has high levels of hard to reach familiies, refugee and transient communities and has the highest number of hostels in the area, compared to other areas of Sheffield, for people with mental health problems. There have been issues with drug gangs and drug users in the area and other serious anti social behaviour which we feel will escalate if the adventure playground isn’t staffed or has to close as the area will be left open and away from public view. Vulnerable children will be put at increased risk of danger from drugs and criminal gangs if Pitsmoor looses it’s staffed adventure playground.

    The two campaign groups have shared information and both groups will be meeting senior councillors next week, Highfields on Monday and Pitsmoor on Tuesday. As far as we are aware this will be our last opportunity to influence any political decision on the immediate future of the adventure playgrounds.

  6. Tower Hamlets it’s not all bad news but keep watching and supporting.

    The London borough of Tower Hamlets has 5 Adventure Playgrounds. Glamis, situated in Shadwell and Weavers in Bethnal Green are run by dedicated, professional playwork teams and Management Committees. Everyone is busy writing funding applications and working hard to keep both these valuable places open for the local children and families who love them.

    Roman Road was built and funded for the first year with DCSF PATHFINDER funding. Situated in Bow on land owned by Old Ford Housing Association this organisation has committed to keep running the playground.

    Bartlett Park in Poplar and Whitehorse in Stepney are run by the council. Last financial year LBTH said they could no longer fund them and invited local housing and play organisations to apply for the council’s main stream grant fund to take over the running of them and their staff. Two organisations put forward proposals but were not offered enough funds to TUPE their staff and no running costs which was unsustainable. With elections due in May 2014 the Tower Hamlets Mayor has committed to keep both sites open for another year.

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