Play nicely please, urges worried neighbour

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Parents of older children playing in the tots area of an Oban play park are being asked to remind their youngsters to stay in their own fun space.

People living near the play park next to the Atlantis Leisure Centre are worried someone could get hurt if the fives and unders area keeps being misused by children who are too big for it.

Maggie Clayton who lives near by has already raised concerns about older children playing inappropriately with some of the equipment while smaller children are dangerously close and could be at risk.

She says a notice pointing out the area is only for fives and under is being ignored by some.

The  community play park for five- to 15-year-olds had to be shut in 2018  after it failed a safety inspection because sections of flooring had become hazardous. Funding for the state-of-the-art facility, which was first opened in 2015, was raised through community fundraising events and grants.

Work to reopen the  £334,000 award winning park  stalled on multiple occasions due to a variety of reasons and after such a long wait, the play park finally opened at the start of this year.

The joy was short lived after its gates were locked again when the  Covid outbreak struck but re-opened earlier this month as part of the Scottish Government’s exit out of lockdown plan.

‘It’s wonderful to see children playing in the park again but it’s important they  all play safe.

‘The worry is that little ones could get hurt if bigger children are on the equipment and are misusing it. There is a notice that clearly marks out the fives and under section. It also says children need to be accompanied,’ said Maggie, who recently had to asked a group of  five boys, aged about 12, to leave the tots’ area for causing ‘mayhem’.

‘I watched them for a few minutes and decided that they were either going to badly injure a toddler or damage the equipment. I went and spoke to them, nicely of course, and after a bit of attitude, they moved into the gardens – but were obviously just waiting for me to go. Sure enough, they were back when I came home.

‘It would be helpful to get the message out to parents to remind their older children to stick to the play area that is meant for their own age group. It’s very worrying otherwise that someone could get hurt, either the older ones breaking equipment or little ones getting accidentally injured,’ she added.