Oak Avenue Play Park

Ready for the summer early July saw the formal handover of the RAF Marham, Oak Avenue play park development from contractors LIGHTMAIN Co Ltd to Defence Infrastructure Organisation Operations Accommodation.

This development is phase one of a proposed dual-phase refurbishment of the Oak Avenue play park that is intended to regenerate and lift the entire estate with the provision of a green ‘natural play’ area. The replacement of a hard-surface football zone with a landscaped area now caters for the full range of young people living in the area from toddlers through to young teens. Slides, basket swings, rope bridges and rope climbs combine with landscaped mounds and ditches, formal and natural stone seating and open grass areas to create a parkland environment which children and parents alike can enjoy and explore. Cherry tree planting will be completed later in the year with the ditches and moats seeded with blue wildflowers giving the impression of moving water in season as the blooms sway in the wind.

The park was opened by Air Commodore Sir Michael Oswald KCVO, who is the Honorary Air Commodore of 2620 (RAuxAF) Regiment Squadron, he said, “The whole concept of the playground is excellent, the children are encouraged to discover imaginative play while they explore the different elements of the park. We are all extremely grateful to the RAF Benevolent Fund for providing the financial assistance that made this possible.” After the opening ceremony Sir Michael Oswald then tested the slide and added. “The slide is one of the steepest and fastest I have ever used people will have lots of fun using the Oak Avenue Play Park!”

The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund has wholly funded this latest £90k project, continuing their unwavering support of the RAF family. RAF Marham in particular has seen in excess of £1.5m in welfare provision to the Unit in recent years. The Community Support Squadron with the help of many service sections and volunteer helpers strive to improve the welfare provision to service personnel and families; and in cooperation with the Borough Council and wider community they aim to continually improve the facilities available to the RAF Marham community.

Visiting the new park with children from Marham Infants School Mrs Gill Smith said, “The children have been very excited, looking forward to the opening of the park for sometime. It’s important to the families that the children are catered for, especially when parents are deployed.”