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Cambridge City Council

Mayor of Cambridge marks the reopening of children's play areas #StaySafeCambridge

News release from 3 July 2020

CHILDREN’S play areas in council run parks and open spaces across Cambridge are set to reopen from this weekend following the easing of the Coronavirus lockdown, in accordance with Government guidance.

The Mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Russ McPherson, today visited Cherry Hinton Recreation Ground to officially reopen the children’s play area there, before the other outdoor play areas in Cambridge City Council’s parks and open spaces open again from tomorrow, Saturday 4 July.

In preparation for re-opening, each council outdoor play area will be inspected and an expanded cleaning programme carried out. Parents, carers and children visiting re-opened play areas are encouraged to:

  • Wash hands before and after using equipment for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitizer gels or wipes
  • Avoid eating and drinking in play areas
  • Observe government social distancing recommendations by staying two metres from other people, or stay at least one metre apart when you can mitigate the risk such as by wearing face coverings. The government says that face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 3 (see
  • Dispose of any waste in bins provided, or, where able, take it home

Also in accordance with Government guidance, the council’s multi-use games areas and outdoor gym equipment will also be opening from Saturday.  Government restrictions on the use of public outdoor paddling pools and splash play areas have still to be lifted, so these facilities will not be re-opening at this point.

Cllr Russ McPherson, who was elected Mayor for the civic year by fellow councillors at Cambridge City Council’s annual meeting last month, is once again carrying out engagements on behalf of the city following the easing of the lockdown.

Since being elected, the Mayor has already visited some of the community hubs helping vulnerable people in Cambridge, while safely observing social distancing guidelines. He also visited some local shops and traders when city centre businesses started re-opening.

Cllr Katie Thornburrow, Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces, said: “I know that many children and families will be delighted that our play areas are starting to open again, as they are important places for many families, particularly those who may not have much outdoor space at home.

“I hope everyone enjoys using our outdoor play, games and gym equipment again but please do continue to follow the advice on hygiene and social distancing. Due to the nature of the  equipment and how it is used, we cannot guarantee that it will be perfectly clean at all times, so would encourage all users, including parents, carers and children to take suitable precautions.”

Cllr Russ McPherson, said: “I am pleased to mark the re-opening of our play areas as it marks another step on the road towards more normal life resuming.

“The last few months have been a difficult time for people in Cambridge and beyond, but now that the lockdown regulations are being eased, I am very keen to get out and about once again, in order to meet people and to support some of the amazing activities that go on in our wonderful city.”

To invite the Mayor to attend an event or activity being planned in Cambridge, people can email, write to Mayor’s Office, The Guildhall, Cambridge CB2 3QJ or phone 01223 457021.