Pupils to plead for improved play areas in Hayling

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SCHOOLchildren across Hayling Island are set to sign a petition to ask for money to improve their play areas.

Pupils and headteachers from schools on the island are unhappy with the equipment provided in local parks.

As a result, representatives from The Hayling College, Mengham Infants, Mengham Juniors, Mill Rythe Infants and Mill Rythe Juniors are hoping they can persuade Havant Borough Council to improve their facilities.

And it’s all come about as part of the Hayling Schools Together group.

The youngsters want challenging and adventurous play equipment to use, such as zip wires and climbing equipment.

Headteacher of Mill Rythe Infant School Sarah Court said: ‘As the Hayling Schools Together group, we talk about things related to their ideas of how we can improve Hayling Island for them.

‘This has come from the children.

‘They felt that things for them to do out of school that were adventurous and fun and outdoors weren’t catered for in their local community – or they felt that they could be improved.

‘That was unanimous across the schools.

‘It’s important that children have access without having to have a journey across the island.

‘If we can improve that for them then that’s really important.

‘It’s important that the children are involved in the decision making.’

Councillor Andy Lenaghan, of the Hayling West ward, said: ‘I support what the children are doing.

‘Although Hayling has had quite a lot of investment in play equipment in Eastoke. That’s quite a big play area.

‘But parks are being quite dilapidated because of the lack of investment. We could do with more.

‘I’ve lived on the island all my life and we did always used to go outside and have fun in the fresh air.

‘Anything to encourage children to go out to play is great.’

The schools are going to set up a petition.

They will also take photos of facilities in neighbouring parts of the borough, such as Leigh Park, to make comparisons between their own parks.