Play area on site of former zoo given award

Civic Award: Wellingborough: Croyland Gardens play area has been given the 2012 Civic Society award'l-r Cllr Tim Allebone (chairman of Development Committee WBC) receives the plaque from Bob Townson (chairman of Wellingborough Civic Society) 'Tuesday 27th November 2012

Civic Award: Wellingborough: Croyland Gardens play area has been given the 2012 Civic Society award'l-r Cllr Tim Allebone (chairman of Development Committee WBC) receives the plaque from Bob Townson (chairman of Wellingborough Civic Society) 'Tuesday 27th November 2012

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An animal-themed play area which was once the site of a zoo has been given the 2012 Wellingborough Civic Society Award.

A plaque marking the award was recently unveiled in the Croyland Gardens play area, Wellingborough.

The annual Civic Society award is given to schemes and projects which best meet the society’s aims of preserving, developing or improving the historical interest of the area.

The zoo-themed play area was opened in April 2011 and features wooden animal sculptures as well as giant engraved boulders decorated with animal designs from local school children.

The zoo theme was chosen to reflect the heritage of the site.

The original zoo opened in the gardens of Croyland Abbey in 1943 and closed in 1970.

It housed a private collection of exotic animals, including monkeys, lions, panthers, a baby elephant and a giant tortoise.

Cllr Tim Allebone said: “It is an honour to receive the award and I’m delighted that this popular play area has been recognised.

“We had a lot of community involvement at every stage of the project, and that has resulted in a facility that everyone should feel very proud of.

“The play equipment is all made of natural material such as wood and stone.

“Public consultation on the project revealed that people were keen that it should complement the formal setting of the gardens.

“We also revised the design of the play area to appeal to children under seven, as again that’s what people told us they wanted.”