Hartham play area development

by Hertford Playground Alliance in Hertford, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 11th September 2019 we successfully raised £28,505 with 257 supporters in 42 days

To raise funds for a bespoke piece of equipment to encourage imaginative play and make Hartham a destination play area.

by Hertford Playground Alliance in Hertford, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

The more we raise the "bigger and better" the play structure would become. It would also open up more choices of having additional play equipment attached to the structure. 

We need you!!

Help us make the Hartham Common playground a destination!

We’re raising funds for a bespoke piece of play equipment unique to our park and local area.

Let’s make this happen! 

Let’s give Hertford something to be proud of!

Let’s give our children something amazing.

Why is our play area important?

Hertford is the County town of Hertfordshire, a historic market town with a population of approximately 26,000. In the centre of Hertford lies Hartham Common, an established recreational area of around 49 acres. Featuring three rivers, the common has a history dating back 1000 years. 

Situated in the heart of Hartham Common, between the skate park and leisure centre, is Hertford’s main children’s playground. It really is a magnificent location but is tired, outdated and in desperate need of renovation. 

We need your help to bring our children’s playground back to life. We want the playground to inspire imaginative play in a safe and fun environment for years to come.

Primary reasons the update is required:

The current play area is:

  • Outdated equipment
  • Lacking in imaginative play
  • Lack of shading 
  • Doesn’t reflect the beauty of the local area
  • Terrain unsuitable for buggies and wheelchairs

The project 

East Herts Council are working on a project to revitalise Hartham. Working alongside them and Groundwork East, concept plans have been drawn up to show what the play area could look like. Hertford Playground Alliance (HPA) was created by local parents in 2018 to engage the community in revitalising the playground. HPA, alongside EHC and Groundwork East, are working to turn the concept plan into a reality with input from local families, businesses and community organisations.

The concept plan below demonstrates how the new play area will blend seamlessly with the current landscape.

You can find out more about the plans for the play area here:


Have your say in our consultation survey, which will be live until 7th August: 


Why is imaginative play so important?

Child development

“Imaginative play helps us to recognise our own emotional responses to things, which is a very healthy process”

“A child’s imagination can change a twig into a magic wand or a cardboard tube into a telescope.”

There are five main benefits of imaginative play:

Social development - When children engage in pretend play, they’re actively experimenting with the social roles of life.

Language development - By pretend playing with others, children begin to understand that words give them the power to re-enact a story and to organise play.

Emotional development - Imaginative play allows your child to express both positive and negative feelings. It also helps him to work through difficult emotions and to understand them.

Physical development - Children express themselves both verbally and non-verbally through imaginative play. They use all their muscles and senses to achieve this.

Thinking skills - Imaginative play fosters mental growth by creating opportunities for trying out new ideas, ways of thinking and problem solving. In pretend-play, children face a variety of problems to solve.

Town footfall 

Improving the aesthetics of the playground will assist in the regeneration of the area, thus improving the visual aspect of the space while driving foot traffic to local businesses.

Hertford has a great number of local businesses and encouraging people to come to the town for a day out will increase visibility and spread the word about the vast range of enterprise Hertford has to offer. 

What you get for your money

The play area is for residents, friends and guests to our community and therefore we wish for it to be inclusive.

The money raised from this campaign will go towards the central piece of the park! The more we can raise the bigger and better that piece becomes. We are looking at a bespoke design which is unique, innovative and will really pioneer imaginative play.

For £26,000 we can achieve a nested treehouse with play equipment. These are modular and the more money we raise the more features and equipment can be added to it. 

The Tree House Nest is a completely unique and bespoke piece of play equipment which provides an opportunity for children and display an ever-changing collection of natural treasures. It encourages explorative and imaginative play for a wide range of ages and abilities. The central nest structure will house a fixed collection of natural curiosities alongside small wooden boxes for children to add their own found items such as feathers, pebbles and leaves. If enough funding is secured there will also be a ground level nest structure connected by balance beams and ropes to the higher tower. Additional funds will also allow further platforms and climbing elements such as ladders, net bridges, balancing ropes, a firefighter’s pole, slides and ramps to be connected to the nest to create a totally spectacular, one-of-a-kind, multi-user piece of play equipment.

Here are some examples: 


Our rewards are also designed with you in mind. As a community we want you to feel involved in the area and we'd like to give you a little thank you for helping us achieve our vision. Every person who donates £20 or more will receive automatic entry into our prize draw.  Prizes to be revealed shortly.  Additional details on our reward structure can be found within the REWARDS tab.

What's next…

Please be part of the solution to bring an imaginative, bespoke piece of play equipment to this park and improve the area for everyone. Support, pledge and get involved in our project and its funding to enable us to reinvigorate the local area.

If you’re not able to contribute but like what we’re doing, get the word out! Shout about us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, whatsapp the link to your friends, email it to your colleagues and talk about it with your family. 

On behalf of East Herts Council, Groundwork East and Hertford Playground Alliance, THANK YOU!  


This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£20 or more

Sponsor a plant and entry to a raffle

Entry into a prize draw

£50 or more

6 of 25 claimed

Sponsor a stump

Sponsor a stump in the stumpery. You will receive a certificate and map showing the location of the stump

£100 or more

16 of 20 claimed

Sponsor a tree

Sponsor a tree. You will receive a certificate and map showing the location of the tree

£150 or more

4 of 40 claimed

Your child's name at the park

We will put your child's name on the interpretation board in the park

£250 or more

0 of 11 claimed

VIP access

Access to our VIP area on the opening day of the park

£500 or more

2 of 9 claimed

VIP and logo

Access to the VIP area on the opening day of the park and logo on the interpretation board in the park.

£5,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Speech, VIP, logo and press coverage

Access to the VIP area on the opening day of the park, logo on the interpretation board in the park, make a speech before the ribbon cutting takes place and mention in any press releases sent out.

£1,000 or more

2 of 2 claimed

VIP, logo and press coverage

Access to the VIP area on the opening day of the play area, logo on the interpretation board in the park and mention in any press releases sent out

Got an idea like this?

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