Following planning approval in 2020 for a completely redesigned and enlarged adventure play area at Lakeside in Ferry Meadows, construction of ‘Fox Play’ is due to start on 14 June.

Fox Play forms the next stage in updating and improving the play provision at Ferry Meadows, following similar successful developments of Otter Play in 2014 and Badger Play in 2016, designed to offer natural adventurous play for all ages.

Outlined in our Master Plan, which sets out the key strategic priorities and projects for Nene Park for delivery up to 2050, Fox Play will provide an exciting play area with water features, zip lines, raised walk-ways, climbing opportunities and plenty of new tree planting. It will be the biggest of our play areas, aimed at slightly older children, but accessible to a range of ages.

Designed by acclaimed landscape designers Davies White, Fox Play will cover 7,800 m2 and include thirteen different pieces of play equipment incorporating natural materials – water, sand, stone and wood. These will enable children to climb, crawl, slide, swing, splash and fly their way around the play area. In addition, with 230m of new surfaced paths, varied equipment and a range of seating, Fox Play offers increased accessibility, adventure and play opportunities for a range of ages and abilities.

The play area also incorporates ‘reconnecting with nature’ as a central theme. We will be planting 22 new trees of 5 different species  and there will be playful planting for people and nature throughout the area, with 1574 new plants added of 17 different species including nectar-rich and fruiting plants, which are good for wildlife. Our dedicated volunteer team will be involved in the planting for the play area.

By using the location of the current play space, Fox Play will be well served by existing access routes and provisions such as parking, bins, the existing Nene Outdoors Watersports and Activity Centre, Lakeside Farm Shop, toilets and café, as well as support from Park staff during core operational hours.

Thanks go to our generous funders for Fox Play who include FCC Communities Foundation and Viridor Credits Environmental Company. Nene Park Trust has also invested significant funds into the project.


FCC Communities Foundation is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community projects through the Landfill Communities Fund. Cheryl Raynor, Grant Manager at FCC Communities Foundation said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Trust to enhance the Park. It is a fantastic facility for local people, and we look forward to work starting shortly.”

Gareth Williams, Operations Manager at Viridor Credits, said “Nene Park Trust’s vision for the Park will create a wonderful, inclusive space for every member of the community. We are proud to be a part of that vision.”

Nene Park Trust aims to create outdoor facilities that are loved by the local community, to encourage children and families to spend more time enjoying the outdoors and exploring nature. Andrew MacDermott, Head of Development here at Nene Park Trust said, “We know how important outdoor play is to our visitors and we are really excited to be embarking on the construction of Fox Play. We are thrilled to see our plans become a reality for all to enjoy and are grateful to all those who have contributed their ideas over the last two years of development.”

Ideally, construction would have started six weeks earlier to enable the play area to be open in time for the summer holidays. However, due to delays related to discharging planning conditions (primarily archaeology) the start date was put back. Peterborough City Council have been very supportive in helping get the conditions discharged so we are now ready to start. The delay does mean that construction will take place while ground conditions should be better and the new planting, trees and grass will have more chance to bed-in before opening.

The area for Fox Play will be fenced off while construction takes place and visitors to this part of the Park are encouraged to use the open spaces of Coney and Oak Meadows for picnics and gatherings. In addition, the fixed BBQ stands that were positioned in this area have been moved closer to Lynch Lake. Construction of the play area should be complete later in the summer. Keep an eye on the Nene Park website and social media channels for regular updates on progress.

Artist's impression of Fox Play