A “bigger and better” refurbishment of the playground on The Rye in High Wycombe has been met with backlash from parents who say it is not inclusive enough.

Clive Harriss, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure described the revamped Ropes on the Rye area as “fantastic” during an opening event on Wednesday, April 10.

He added: “We know how popular the old play area was and we wanted to take that popularity to the next level by providing an enhanced creative place for children of all ages and abilities to play.”

However, some parents, including Becky Lou Manning, have criticised the new development for not catering to younger children and toddlers as much as its predecessor.

Becky Lou said her children, who are all below three-years-old, “loved” the area’s original swings, which weren’t replicated in the upgrade.

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She said access to the smaller park in the middle of The Rye has also been cut off due to flooding from recent bad weather.

The design of the new play area, which includes a ‘Tree Castle’ multi-play unit, a wheelchair accessible roundabout, a mini space net and a ‘cocowave’ swing, was informed by consultations with local stakeholders including the 2nd High Wycombe Brownies.

The former playground, which was constructed in 2008, was made up of a raised wooden walkway linked by rope bridges as well as fireman’s pole, swings and monkey bars.

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Back in 2022, the council announced intentions to refurbish a number of play areas around the county, with a replacement of the old skate park next to Bridge Street in Buckingham and the installation of a large play facility in Vale Park, Aylesbury, next on the list.

A similar revamp of the play facilities at Higginson Park in Marlow was unveiled by the council last summer.