YOUNGSTERS celebrated the opening of a new £100,000 playground near Oxford by having a go on the new swings and climbing frames.

Last year the revamp of Pinnocks Way playground in Dean Court, Cumnor, got the go-ahead after it was given £46,000 from the Government’s Playbuilder scheme.

The grant was topped up with £50,000 from the Waste Recycling Environmental initiative and £5,500 from Vale of White Horse District Council.

On Saturday, Oxford author Philip Pullman cut the tape to open the playground and urged youngsters to “fool about”.

He said: “It’s a wonderful pleasure to be here to see this extraordinary playground. I can hardly wait to get in and start playing on it.

“In my boyhood, we didn’t have playgrounds as good as this but we fooled about and I want to see as much fooling about in this playground as possible.”

Judy Roberts, district councillor for Appleton and Cumnor, who coordinated the creation of the new playground, said the previous area fell into disrepair and suffered from flooding.

She said: “The site had very poor drainage so we created a bog garden to take some of the excess water. The old playground got so muddy it was only being used for half the year, so we hope the new playground will be a major improvement.

“The snow in January delayed the start of the work, and we had a deadline of finishing by the end of March, so I’m delighted we got everything done on time.

“I think the playground will be very well used – it’s on the route to Matthew Arnold School and there are lots of big families living on the Pinnocks Way estate.”

Equipment includes monkey bars and a toddlers’ area with a sandpit.

Archaeologist Granville Laws, 49, who lives in Pinnocks Way, with wife Marion, 40, and daughters Rachel, seven, and Hannah, three, said: “The old playground was very dilapidated and run-down and sometimes had broken glass in it. This new facility will bring people in the community together.”

Rachel added: “I really like the playground. The monkey bars and the slide are my favourite.”

Oxford West and Abingdon MP Evan Harris said: “Some people don’t realise there is deprivation in the area and this new playground is going to be a real asset.”