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Stretten Avenue community pulls together to create ‘smallest’ park in Cambridge



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A group of neighbours spent last weekend (April 24-25) making a children’s play area on a spare piece of land at the end of their street – and they believe it could the smallest park in Cambridge.

Work on the children's play area at Stretten Avenue. Picture: Rebecca Lindum Greene
Work on the children's play area at Stretten Avenue. Picture: Rebecca Lindum Greene

The residents of Stretten Avenue decided to work on the project after forming an online neighbourhood page. The group has been concerned about the empty space, on the corner of St Luke’s Church car park on Stretten Avenue, where the recycling centre has recently been removed.

They decided, after talking to the church and the council, to turn it into a child-friendly space. Marion Leeper, one of the organisers, said: “We decided to create a lovely play area for local children.

“The council has given us a grant of £500 and we were all out working together to make this happen.”

Work on the children's play area at Stretten Avenue. Picture: Rebecca Lindum Greene
Work on the children's play area at Stretten Avenue. Picture: Rebecca Lindum Greene

The group cleaned up the area, painted the fences around it, assembled some planters and planted them with shrubs. They also made a community library, a plant exchange, a bug hotel and a music wall.

“We had loads of families helping, and lots of interest from passers-by,” said Marion. “We’re feeling quite proud of ourselves!”

Work on the children's play area at Stretten Avenue. Picture: Rebecca Lindum Greene
Work on the children's play area at Stretten Avenue. Picture: Rebecca Lindum Greene

Looking ahead, Marion said: “I’m hoping we can get the local school [St Luke’s] involved and make some designs for the next phase. We’re going to have a little design competition, and if we don’t get any funding, we’ll get each child to design a square and paint a little square of the Tarmac.

"But we’ll also have their ideas of what they think needs to go next, because we want it to be a space for children, so we’d like it to be child-led.”

Marion added: “What was so exciting about actually doing the work was we just did so much in a weekend.

Work on the children's play area at Stretten Avenue. Picture: Rebecca Lindum Greene
Work on the children's play area at Stretten Avenue. Picture: Rebecca Lindum Greene

“So many people turned up to help and the children were amazing – they felt like they’d made a real difference. It was a really lovely community thing to do.”

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