YOUNGTERS were trying out a new playground right in the shadow of the city walls today – and giving it the thumbs up.

“It’s really good!” admitted six-year-old Reuben Beal, grinning from ear to ear as he ran around to have yet another go on the slide in the new playground next to Red Tower.

His mum Victoria was in full agreement.

“We live in navigation Road, and I think it’s wonderful,” she said.

“All the local children will really enjoy playing on it.”

York Press: Reuben Beal on the slide at the new playground at Red TowerReuben Beal on the slide at the new playground at Red Tower (Image: Stephen Lewis)

The £35,000 playground, designed and built by Steve Danby of Playscheme to a theme chosen by local residents, consists of a wooden tower structure complete with ladders, climbing holds and the slide, plus a long section of stockade walls.

It mirrors the next door Red Tower itself – and the stretch of city walls leading up to it.

And it is here for all the children of the local neighbourhood to come and play on whenever they want.

For former Lord Mayor and one-time Guildhall ward councillor Janet Looker, officially cutting the red ribbon to open the playground this morning marked the successful end of a campaign that has lasted more than 25 years.

York Press: Janet Looker at the new playgroundJanet Looker at the new playground (Image: Stephen Lewis)

“I’m delighted!” she said. “It was one of the projects I spotted almost as soon as I became councillor for Guildhall ward.

“I came down here and I looked at the play area and it had - I think it had these two very tatty bouncy chickens. And I said ‘we must do something about this!’ But it has taken a long time!”

Rachel Melly, one of the new ward councillors for Micklegate following last May’s elections, said the playground ‘couldn’t have come out better’.

“It’s a beautiful design,” she said. “You can see how it reflects the city walls and the Red Tower. It’s just perfect for this place – a really brilliant playground.

York Press: Rachael Melly at the new playgroundRachael Melly at the new playground (Image: Stephen Lewis)

“Local families have needed this for so long – and now they’ve got it!”

Councillors hope the new playground will be used not only by local children living in the Navigation Road neighbourhood, but also by the children of families walking the city walls.

It comes at the end of a natural break in the walls – and will be the perfect spot for a breather before continuing.

York Press: Reuben at the new playgroundReuben at the new playground (Image: Stephen Lewis)

“In the summer, particularly, we get a lot of visitors coming around,” Mrs Looker said.

“I think families will spot this and think ‘Gosh! There’s somewhere for the children to let off steam a bit before we head off to finish the walls’.”

York Press: Reuben Beal inside the tower at the new playground next to York's Red TowerReuben Beal inside the tower at the new playground next to York's Red Tower (Image: Stephen Lewis)