Estate celebrates opening of new eco-friendly play area

Hello again, Hackney - Morland

Local parents, children and community leaders enjoyed celebrating the official opening of Morland Estate’s new natural play area, which was developed as part of a resident-led project to transform an underused part of the estate into a fun and eco-friendly space for the whole community to enjoy - including the 100 children who live on the estate. 

Boasting a rope bridge, slide, balance beam, climbing log and table tennis, the new fun-filled activity area provides an engaging and creative space where local children can enjoy the benefits of outdoor play, and has been designed in consultation with local residents, including children who live on the estate. Estate residents can also enjoy connecting with nature on their doorstep in the area’s seating space, which features picnic tables and a circular tree bench. 

A biodiversity boost has also been injected into the community space with the planting of 10 new trees, including Himalayan Birch, Mount Fuji cherry blossom and fargesia bamboo. These new additions complement the 200 native hedgerow species that were planted last year by children living on the estate, after being donated to the community project by the Woodland Trust. 

The Morland Estate and Blanchard Way Tenants and Residents Association worked with the Council to secure £50,000 in funding to deliver the project, with backing given from the London Marathon Charitable Trust, Greater London Authority, National Lottery, Woodland Trust, Hackney Parochial Charities and the German Kindergarten. The family of the late Len Brown – a longstanding Morland Estate resident – also donated to the cause.

Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville joined local residents and supporters of the project at a plaque unveiling ceremony marking the play area’s official opening, which took place last month as part of the estate’s vibrant 60th anniversary celebrations, which featured face painting, live music from local bands and a resident-led photo exhibition that celebrated life on the estate.

Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville
We are delighted that Morland Estate has become such an active community through the hard work of resident volunteers, and my thanks go to them for helping to transform the communal spaces on the estate.

Hackney Council is pleased to have offered its support in the creation of what is a truly successful, sustainable and much-needed new natural play space. Vibrant outdoor spaces like this are exactly what local residents need, especially in the time of the pandemic when coming together has been so difficult.
Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville
Cllr Clayeon McKenzie, Cabinet Member for Housing Services
This new natural play area will make a major difference to the Morland Estate and its residents, and I’d like to give a huge thank you to everyone who’s been involved in making this project a reality. 

Every single child should have access to opportunities to play outside and connect with nature on their doorstep, and as an inner-city borough, spaces like this will help ensure that our local children enjoy the same benefits as those who live in more rural areas.

This work is testament to the community spirit of our estates, and it serves as a great inspiration to people living in Council homes across Hackney. If you’ve got ideas for your estate, we’d love to work with you to bring them to life.
Cllr Clayeon McKenzie, Cabinet Member for Housing Services

If you want to set up a new resident group on your estate, have ideas to improve your estate or want to help hold the Council to account, there are loads of ways for Council tenants and homeowners to get involved: www.hackney.gov.uk/housing-get-involved