Tiny ‘tick box’ playground savaged for looking like ‘UFC fighter cage for kids’

A play area in Ilford, East London, has been compared to a UFC ring. It contains just one piece of play equipment but two two-seater benches and a pair of entrances

The playground was labeled the 'worst' in London
The playground was labeled the ‘worst’ in London

A tiny children’s playground has been savaged on Reddit, with users comparing it to a UFC fighter cage or prison cell.

The play area in Ilford, East London, contains a pair of two-seater benches, a single rocker-type contraption, two bins and four large rocks.

And despite the small size of the enclosure, it has two entrances, reports the Daily Star.

It does, however, appear to be completely rubbish free – more than can be said for many other such public play areas across the UK.

After a snap of the playground was shared on the popular forum, people became fascinated with the layout and quickly started speculating on what it could possibly be used for.

The original thread, posted over the weekend, is tilted: “I think I’ve found the worst playground in London.”

One poster said it seemed like a tick box exercise from the developers (stock image)



One person said: “At least there is a lot of seating space for adults to watch the lone child playing.”

Another added: “This screams of a developer ticking a box for planning permission.”

It was a common theme, with others theorizing that the bleak design was a ruse to minimize the sounds of children’s laughter and merriment.

They said: “I think the idea is to deliberately make the play area unattractive to minimize noise.

“They have to meet a minimum square area for residential development but developers often split that into multiple small areas like this and put fences around them so they aren’t actually used.”

There were some who saw the merits of the play area though and argued that it more than fulfilled the needs of modern-day teenagers.

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One laughed: “Very good of Newham Council to put up a UFC cage for the kids. Love their forward-thinking.”

Another said darkly: “Feel like on a Friday and Saturday night this turns into a U18 balloon fueled smoking den.”

Boris Johnson unveiled a new obesity strategy in July 2020 after it emerged one in three children leaving primary school are overweight.

However, as reported last year, eight out of 10 playgrounds across the country still needed repairing.

Many had broken or damaged equipment and surroundings for at least a month.

Campaigners began pressing for more cash to fix the problem.

Leyla Preston, of online magazine Motherhood Diaries, who is campaigning to get computer-addicted children playing outside, said: “Those from poorer backgrounds lose out from lack of repair or abandonment of playgrounds.”

The Sunday People sent freedom of information requests about the state of playgrounds to 354 councils in England and Wales.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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