Prospect Park

The Ranger Station at Prospect Park

The Ranger Station, a new destination for activities, entertainment and learning for families and children from across Reading and beyond – is now open and offering two exciting new activities.

Book now for outdoor family adventure mini-golf

Book now for indoor ‘Sky Tykes’ low ropes course for younger children age 7 and under

Coming soon:

Our hope is to drive up participation in outdoor and active play by offering fantastic new facilities opening in 2023:

  • a café facility with indoor and outdoor seating
  • multi-function room for parties, meetings and teaching
  • an outdoor education area including a climbing wall and team building activities, such as den building, archery, an outdoor classroom and much more to support Reading Play’s educational outreach work with vulnerable young people. These activities will be used term time for Reading Play’s educational support, group games and school visits. Public sessions will also be available.

A new café and toilet facilities complement the activities at the centre, as well as a multi-function room for parties, meetings and teaching, including those with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) or excluded from mainstream education.

The Ranger Station at Prospect Park

Educational Outreach

The pavilion is already the home of our highly regarded and popular Play Service, and the new centre would also provide an outdoor enclosed education zone to support the team’s outreach programmes, including a portable climbing wall and team building activities, such as den and fire building, archery, adventurous play, assault course, an outdoor class room and much more.

The improvement of play facilities here will provide valuable extended provision for vulnerable and SEND children at a fun, safe and welcoming environment; enabling children and young people to explore and learn skills and participate in outdoor activities and enabling social growth and physical development. 

About Reading Play

Reading Play encourage learning opportunities and social experiences for children age 0-13 years through play. Children’s lives are enhanced by playing creatively, allowing for learning and development as individuals. We view play as a critical mechanism in supporting a child’s behaviour, educational resilience and confidence.

This would allow us to target our work with children and young people by providing alternative learning experiences for children with special educational needs and disabilities, and activities aimed at reducing school exclusions and their impact. We will invest income from the public activities into our targeted services offered to vulnerable children both on site and in school.

Some of the targeted educational support our team provides:

  • Supporting young people with independence, development and educational attainment
  • Playground games and sport to encourage physical activity
  • Transition support – into new schools/classrooms
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) support in Schools
  • Running out of school play-based learning programmes for children and young people who have no educational placement
  • School travel training service
  • Short Breaks
  • Respite provision – young carers
  • Mentoring young people through play.

Will there be a charge for these facilities?

There is a modest admission charge for the mini golf, the adventure ropes and soon for the climbing wall and archery facility. Charges will be set in line with other similar facilities in Berkshire. The income generated will go towards delivering activities targeted at supporting vulnerable children across the borough, including offering respite support or alternative education.

Will the facilities be accessible?

The café will be fully accessible, with an internal platform lift where there is a change in floor level. Accessible toilet facilities will also be available. The mini-golf has been designed to be accessible for a broad range of abilities.

The ropes course, along with some outward-bound activities require a level of physical dexterity but may be accessed with the aid of a helper.

How is this project funded?

The project is being funded from money secured via Section 106 agreements and from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)– which are both contributions developers make towards local facilities.

Are the football changing facilities still be available?

Yes, the football changing facilities are still be available. These facilities are unaffected by this development. We are not intending to change these facilities as the new play service will operate out of the pavilion end closest to the car park.

What other improvements are happening at Prospect Park?

We started work in November 2022 on the new half-a-million-pound playground in Prospect Park.

Work is underway to create an exciting play area that will allow children to be challenged physically, as well as letting their creativity flourish. The new play area will provide a range of facilities to cater for children of all ages and abilities by offering a variety of challenge levels.

The location and surfaces of the new play area have been chosen to ensure the best accessibility for families using pushchairs or mobility aids. 

Once complete, the play area will include:

  • Themed zones, including quiet play areas and activity panels.
  • Roundabouts, swings and a zipwire.
  • Two large climbing towers with a tunnel slide and access ramp incorporated into the unit.
  • Ground-level roundabout, braille panels, lower-level inclusive play net, accessible see-saw, tactile panels, ground-level games, and a large accessible springer.

It has been designed to allow much better access to and around the area and will be as inclusive as possible – aiming to challenge, excite and inspire as well as encourage children of all abilities to play together.

Prospect Park Play Area

How can I get in touch?

To find out more details on the above plans and to tell us what you think, including letting us know about any questions or concerns you might have, please email reading.play@reading.gov.uk