Public support helps persuade Greensand Trust to reopen Valley Slide at Rushmere Country Park

The slide at Rushmere Park       Photo: Greensand Trust
The slide at Rushmere Park Photo: Greensand Trust

Overwhelming public support has led the Greensand Trust to announce the popular Valley Slide at Rushmere Country Park will re-open this Saturday (March 24).

The slide was closed in January while the Trust considered its future as part of the play offer at the park following a public liability claim.

The claim made against The Trust related to a child, aged under 5, who sustained injuries in 2014, and was heard at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court who ordered the charity pay £5,000 damages.

But today (Tuesday) the Trust revealed the slide would reopen this weekend after the matter was debated at a recent meeting of trustees and partners of the environmental charity. It is now seeking to install CCTV on the site to help monitor how the slide is used.

The Trust says the slide’s closure solicited a huge response from visitors on the park’s Facebook page calling for its re-opening and highlighting its appeal among families coming to the 400-acre site in Heath and Reach.

A statement said: “This overwhelming support from visitors contributed in part to the decision to keep the slide.

“The slide has always and continues to meet European safety standards as verified by regular independent play inspections.

“The ranger team at the park conscientiously checks and maintains the slide to a very high standard to ensure the slide is safe for use by our visitors.

“New, more prescriptive signage has been installed, warning that the slide is steep, long and conditions can make it very fast and users do so at their own risk. The slide is not recommended for use by children under 5 or adults.”

The Trust says adult supervision is required to assess suitability and ensure children use the slide appropriately – seated, feet first with only one user at a time. The slide also should not be used when wet.

They point out that a play area, including a slide suitable for children aged under 5, is provided in the toddler play area.

Chief Executive of The Greensand Trust, Gill Welham, said: “We’re delighted that, on balance, it was decided that we will keep the Valley Slide as part of the play offer at Rushmere Country Park. We recognise it’s very popular among our visitors and thank them for their support on this issue.

“The safety of all our visitors, especially children, is paramount. We’re certainly doing all we can to make sure the slide is safe to use and call upon parents of children using the slide to make sure they are using it appropriately. This way we can continue to allow our younger visitors to enjoy the Valley Slide having fun outdoors for years to come.”

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