The Children’s Playground was refurbished at the cost of £150,000 in 2001 and further improved as part of the Heritage Lottery Fund Park improvement project completed in 2008. It provides a clean, bright and safe area for children up to the age of 14. You can find the Playground more or less in the centre of the Park, at the top of the hill above the Reg Driver Visitor Centre. The 1898 Refreshments Pavilion is just 100 metres to the east of the Playground (adjacent to the recently rebuilt Toilet block) and is often an important part of a child’s visit!
The Children’s Orchard, next to the Playground, is part of the Ipswich Traditional Orchard Project which aims to reintroduce traditional Suffolk varieties of fruit trees into the Ipswich area. Primarily an educational space, it was planted on the site of the old leaf yard in 2011 with plum trees, crab-apples, pears, apples and cobnuts. In a few years time these should all bear fruit and be an additional Park attraction as well as a great boon to the Park’s birdlife.
One very special tree in the orchard will be a graft of a Ribston Pippin apple from Fonnereau’s original eighteenth-century orchard.
The new viewing platform in the Orchard gives excellent views into the tree canopy of the Wildlife Reserve below. Encourage children to bring binoculars to see what they can see!