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Quick! The Telegraph would like your comments on the great British sandpit shortage

(111 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 03-Jun-09 10:03:09

Morning all.

The Telegraph is planning to run a story on the not-so-gradual disappearance of sandpits from public parks and playgrounds - and they want to know what Mumsnetters think about it all.

Is there a public sandpit near you? Do you take your kids to it? And would you (and they) miss it if it closed?

Or do you dislike/avoid them - and think it's a good idea they're disappearing?

flamingobingo Wed 03-Jun-09 10:05:19

We have one at our local park. I don't really like them playing in it - I imagine all sorts of manky things in their - cat shit etc. But I do let them and they've never got ill so far in two years of playing in it regularly! And never found anything unsavoury either.

They'll play in it for absolutely ages too - far longer than they do on the climbing frames etc. sometimes.

I think we need more sandpits that are better cared for?

LupusinaLlamasuit Wed 03-Jun-09 10:06:11

You mean the GReat British Cat Toilet Shortage surely?

I only use them if they are in Very Big Parks (ie miles away from cat populations) and/or the kind of park you have to pay to go in where people clean them.

And I'm really NOT a fussy, anal type...

TrinityRhino Wed 03-Jun-09 10:06:14

I dont know of anywhere near me with a public sandpit

If there had been one I would have taken my children to it and they would have missed it when it went

we have a large sandpit in out garden and they are almost never out of it (weather permitting)

flamingobingo Wed 03-Jun-09 10:06:26

Also, we went somewhere on holiday once which had two huge wooden pirate ships to play on, and they were on sand and, for some reason, I didn't worry too much about that. Maybe because it was within an attraction you paid to get into and was locked at night?

LupusinaLlamasuit Wed 03-Jun-09 10:07:05

Do you remember the days when public parks used to have little paddling pools too? grinhmm

oopsagain Wed 03-Jun-09 10:09:38

sandpit at our locala park.
it'[s fab.
kids love it and play in it for ages.

Why are they beng phased out?

TheProfiteroleThief Wed 03-Jun-09 10:10:25

I think sandpits can be lovely - with larger scale digging toys than can be provided in a domestic setting. However, if they are not obviously well maintained and secure, we do not go near them.

One near us, starts the season looking nice, and ends it looking revolting.

EccentricaGallumbits Wed 03-Jun-09 10:12:33

No idea where our nearest sandpit would be. Would be easier and quicker to take them to a beach perhaps.

BonsoirAnna Wed 03-Jun-09 10:13:42

I live in Paris where every park and playground has a sandpit. They are used intensively and maintained frequently (daily?), and there are strict rules on cleanliness - the pits are frequently tested for bacteria etc.

I think sandpits are a great idea (even if my own DD doesn't particularly like them).

Doesn't bother me that there aren't any near here. If there was one I'd be worried about DD digging and unearthing cat poo or used needles. Never mind all the drunken teenagers who would probably urinate in it.

Overmydeadbody Wed 03-Jun-09 10:15:13

There are none around here but DS loves the one at Finsbury Park and the one on hyde park.

I don't mind that there are none round here, with the potential for cat and dog shit and hidden droken glass and needles etc.

We do still have a big local paddling pool, but it contains so much chlorine you can smell it a mile away and DS's eyes are always puffy and red after unsing it. Doesn't stop him though grin

sfxmum Wed 03-Jun-09 10:15:41

well I know that Kew Gardens had a sandpit beach a couple of years back which was a huge success, parents have been disappointed ever since has it has not been repeated.
no idea where the nearest one to us is

and toilets yes horrible shortage they should extend the scheme with local businesses allowing use of toilet without purchase

Gorionine Wed 03-Jun-09 10:16:00

the only public sandpit my Dcs have been to is this one in Hide park/kensington gardens. We live in the North West so not exactly local. There is none that I know of here. There is plenty of really nice parks around, but no sandpits.

Overmydeadbody Wed 03-Jun-09 10:17:16

Oh, and what is the Telegraph's excuse for not doing their own research, yet again? Laziness? Budget cutbacks? Complete inadequacy? hmmgrin

ComeOVeneer Wed 03-Jun-09 10:17:50

sfx the nearest one is probably bushy park!

BonsoirAnna Wed 03-Jun-09 10:18:34

There is absolutely nothing wrong with using MN for research angry

princessmel Wed 03-Jun-09 10:18:41

There is one in a park on the other side of town. We go there rarely as it is very difficult to park there. But when we go the dc's have a fantastic time.

We go to a farm which has 2 sandpits and they are very popular. I like it as I get to sit and watch while they play without any assistance from me! But this is a pricey place and you could only play in the sand if you're a member or pay the entry fee.

stubbyfingers Wed 03-Jun-09 10:18:57

my kids will play for hours in sand pits. There is one in my local park, but it's become more of a gravel pit with not much sand left.

There is a much better one near my mum's house which is one of the old style paddling pools re-envisioned as a sand pit. At first, there wasn't enough sand in it so the kids could only play at one end, but they loved it. This year it has been filled up with lovely new sand which was exciting and very popular. However, with the first downpour it filled up and is now half sand, half scummy puddles which have the look of frothy toxic waste.

I think the point here is maintenance; sandpits are fabulous and really let children get stuck in with their imaginations, but councils have to be able to commit to the maintenance.

mankyscotslass Wed 03-Jun-09 10:19:52

Our local park has just been re-modelled, the local park supporters group raised a fortune through events to fund it.

It looks great, and there is a sandpit in it, which my DC love. Unfortunately on my last trip I found broken glass and a syringe it it. sad

There is no poiint in having it unless it's monitored and cleaned.

MyEye Wed 03-Jun-09 10:25:06

No s/p in our local park -- I often wish there was. There is a decent one at the playground on Hampstead Heath, with lots of great weighing/lifting mechanisms. It's always busy.

We crossed London twice (with buckets and spades) to visit the Kew Gardens beach. Twas heaven.

Aranea Wed 03-Jun-09 10:26:18

There are sandpits in lots of playgrounds near us. I love them. They're my daughter's favourite thing, as she isn't a great climber and is scared of swings and roundabouts! She has always wanted to spend AGES enjoying the sand.

Some are cleaner than others, but I've never really worried about it. I've never seen them used as cat toilets - it never seems to be anything worse than plant matter.

Would be very sad to see the sandpits go.

DamonBradleylovesPippi Wed 03-Jun-09 10:27:14

I'm not fussed about sandpits in parks at all. No sandpit at any of my local parks. Sometimes we go to one that has it and children love it though. In my mind sand is something to play on the beach though so I'm not bothered about them in parks. I'm not british so I might have a skewed view of this wink.

Kutner Wed 03-Jun-09 10:28:24

We don't have a sandpit near us, which is probably a good thing judging by the cleanliness of the local parks.

When dd visits my mother (who lives in a better cared for area), they frequently visit the local park which has a well maintained sandpit which dd loves.

I think that in theory they are a great idea, but only if properly maintained, which in reality simply won't happen everywhere.

BonsoirAnna Wed 03-Jun-09 10:32:14


Aranea - so that is why my DD doesn't like sandpits - she's a direct descendant of a chimpanzee terrific climber!

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