THE first of two newly-renovated playgrounds has opened at Poole Park.

Children and families are now able to visit the Plant Explorer's Playground, which is located next to the Ark Cafe.

Next month the larger Jungle Adventure Playground is set to open on the site of the former Westfield play area in the park

The new playgrounds are part of the £2.7 million Poole Park Life project, a four-year initiative to renovate the Victorian park.

Both new play area have the theme of Victorian plant collectors, travelling the world and discovering new plant species to bring back to England.

Real life examples of such plants can be found in Poole Park itself.

BCP Council environment member Cllr Mark Anderson said: "Our green spaces have played an important part in our lives during the pandemic, with even more people appreciating their value.

"So it’s particularly good to see this key aspect of the Poole Park Life project come to fruition at this point in time.

"I hope children love the Plant Explorer’s Playground and I'm looking forward to seeing how the Jungle Adventure turns out.

"I’ll be bringing my nieces and nephew along as soon as Covid-19 allows.

"Victorian plant collectors would have faced many adventures during their travels and we hope that the new playgrounds will give visitors the freedom to embark on their own."

The playgrounds have been designed by play and sport consultancy Jupiter Play.

A BCP Council spokesman said: "Funded by the Parks for People restoration programme, run by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund with additional funds from Canford Environmental Limited (with support from The Parks Foundation), the playgrounds will provide a wide range of equipment, sensory play and room to explore for children, young people and their families of all ages."

Under the government's Covid restrictions which remain in place, playgrounds should be used for exercise and recreation only – not for socialising.

Council officials say people should not travel outside their local area and social distancing should be observed at all times.

The Jungle Adventure Playground is anticipated to open on April 13.

It is hoped an official launch event for both play areas can take place later this year.