Ensuring Defence Estate play parks are COVID-19 secure

24 July 2020
Image of military personnel stood in front of a children's play park.

Last week, the Prime Minister announced that in addition to a number of hospitality facilities, outdoor play parks and playgrounds can also re-open if it is safe to do so. With more than 500 play parks located at Defence sites across the UK, teams from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and Amey recognise that play parks are hugely important to Service families and we are really pleased that they will be reopening across the Service Family Accommodation (SFA) estate.

The safety of our customers is always our highest priority, and DIO and Amey local teams are working together to understand and follow the Government COVID-19 guidance in preparation for a phased re-opening of our play parks which will begin from 10th July and we expect to have all fully compliant play parks opened by 17th July.

Making our play parks COVID-19 secure

  • Teams are busy completing risk assessments on all the play parks we manage, checking that the equipment is safe to use and that risk from damage or defective equipment is addressed before opening
  • Amey’s grounds maintenance teams will be carrying out any necessary work to ensure the play park is safe
  • Temporary signage will be placed at each entry and exit point until permanent signage has been installed to remind families of hygiene and social distancing measures in line with Government guidelines
  • DIO and Heads of Establishment will review the risk every six months and adjust accordingly should the need arise to close play parks in the event of a future COVID-19 spike

RAF High Wycombe’s newly refurbished playpark

Service children at RAF High Wycombe will be excited to see that two of their old but much-loved play parks have been completely refurbished ready for their eager return in July. With around 350 Service families living on the site, the play parks are a valuable and important community asset, and both have received a complete overhaul with brand new equipment, fencing, a new play surface and tree work to cut back the overhanging trees.

A small, official opening took place on 3rd July with full social distancing measures and representatives from DIO, Amey, and local families gathered (safely) with Group Captain Shaun Harris, Station Commander, and Air Cdre Michael Wilson who was delighted to cut the ribbon, adding “The play parks look great and I’m pleased they will open soon to uplift the community spirit under the current circumstances.”