Girl, 11, designs Wicksteed Park beanstalk climbing frame

An 11-year-old girl has designed a unique climbing frame inspired by her favourite fairy tale for an amusement park.

Mia's Jack and the Beanstalk climbing frame has been unveiled at Wicksteed Park in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

It won a competition organised as part of the park's £2m National Lottery-funded play project.

The funds led to the restoration of historic play equipment, which includes "the world's first playground swing".

The yellow-and-green-themed climbing frame with a tube slide, partly funded by North Northamptonshire Council, was made by the Kettering-based Wicksteed company.

Mia said: "I thought it would be good to have an exciting slide attached to it from which the children can slide down swiftly after the hard work of climbing up."

She added that she got the idea because she had always wanted to play on a climbing frame that was made to look like a beanstalk.

The @play project, using cash from the National Heritage Lottery fund, has led to the creation of a free heritage playground featuring 10 pieces of historic play equipment.

One of the attractions, a swing, is claimed to be the oldest in the world. It was made by the park's founder Charles Wicksteed a century ago and refurbished by the company.

There is also a Wicksteed rocking horse dating back 80 years as well as a reconstruction of a 1921 slide.

The grant from the National Lottery has helped to fund the restoration of the Garden Room tearoom, which offers stunning views across the park from the top of its famous Edwardian-style Pavilion.

Seven traditional telescopes have also been installed, pointing at key areas of the 147-acre park. When visitors look through the viewer, they see an image of what that area looked like when the park opened in 1921.

Oliver Wicksteed at the park
Oliver Wicksteed said he was grateful to the National Lottery for backing the project

Oliver Wicksteed, chairman of the Wicksteed Charitable Trust, which owns the park, said: "We are incredibly grateful that The National Lottery Heritage Fund understands the importance of the park and its heritage and backed us in this way, helping to make the @play project a fantastic success."


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