Picture special: Play in the Park

Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured playing in the sand is Emma Kilcoyne (6) and sister Sarah (8) with Grace Moriarty (9) and brother Joseph (7)
Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured playing in the sand is Emma Kilcoyne (6) and sister Sarah (8) with Grace Moriarty (9) and brother Joseph (7)
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Parents struggling to entertain their children during the summer holidays had their problems solved in Vale Park yesterday, with the annual Play in the Park.

The event, which attracted more than 3,000 people, featured a number of inflatable attractions, a climbing wall, go-karting and kids play areas.

Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured building is Felix Caille (4)

Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured building is Felix Caille (4)

Event-goers praised the range of activities on offer as well as the friendliness and patience of the staff and volunteers.

Parent Helen Walker said: “We’ve been really impressed with how many different things there are. There’s things for all ages, and a lot of them are free, which is useful during the summer holidays.”

Umbanda drumming sessions provided a musical backdrop to the event, and the pop-up beach, which used 360 kilograms of sand, was a firm favourite for many.

Jessica Newitt, nine, said: “It’s been really good. I really enjoyed all the different activities.”

Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured on a unicycle is Lana Smith (6) with dad Peter and friend Bess Evans (5)

Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured on a unicycle is Lana Smith (6) with dad Peter and friend Bess Evans (5)

The event was part of National Play Day, which last year saw more than 850 events across the country and is now in its 28th year. The day also saw the official opening of the refurbished skate park.

Jenny Bloom, chairman of Aylesbury Vale District Council said: “It’s been an absolutely fabulous day. It’s lovely to see so many families coming along for a community event. With all these these things you never know how many people are going to turn up – it’s a bit hit and miss.”

Despite the concerns surrounding the weather, event manager Rebecca Henson said the day was ‘as busy as it is every year’.

“We started work at seven in the morning and we’ll be up until 11 this evening.”

Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured on the go-karts is Stacey Mayhew (9)

Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured on the go-karts is Stacey Mayhew (9)

Mrs Henson’s role involved around 200 hours of organisation, which started back in December.

As the day drew on, the size of the queues drew some complaints. However, Mrs Henson said that the queues were a natural result of the popularity of the event.

“We’re really happy with the event – there’s nothing we’d have done differently.”

Pauline Owens, who attended with her daughter, said: “People really enjoy it - you can tell by the amount of people here.

Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured on the climbing wall is Seth Kaye (6)

Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured on the climbing wall is Seth Kaye (6)

“It would be nice to have more for disabled children, there’s a lot of things they aren’t able to do. There could be more help with the activities.”

Angela Macpherson, the council’s cabinet member for leisure, communities and civic amenities said: “Play in the Park is all about giving children across Aylesbury Vale the opportunity to enjoy a fun day out with their friends and families. It’s really important children keep fit and active whilst having fun, and events like this are a great way to encourage youngsters to try something new.”

Thirty-one organisations were involved, including representatives from various charities, such as Bucks Disability Service (BuDS), the Canal and River Trust and the Sure Start Children’s Centres.

Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured is Darcie Cader (3) drumming

Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured is Darcie Cader (3) drumming

Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured balancing on the globe is Laila Harris (4) with Colonel

Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured balancing on the globe is Laila Harris (4) with Colonel

Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured plate spinning is Ellen Hayes

Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured plate spinning is Ellen Hayes

Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured at the Canal and Rivers Trust stall seeing how far she can cycle in one minute is 7 year old Katie Clarke

Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured at the Canal and Rivers Trust stall seeing how far she can cycle in one minute is 7 year old Katie Clarke

Play in the Park at Vale Park

Play in the Park at Vale Park

Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured on the stilts is Thomas Taylor (3) and Lauren Lake-Simmonds (13) PNL-150508-182324009

Play in the Park at Vale Park - pictured on the stilts is Thomas Taylor (3) and Lauren Lake-Simmonds (13) PNL-150508-182324009