A fundraiser to replace well-loved playground equipment which was removed by the council has achieved more than double its target.

Friends of Portswood Rec has raised more than £5,000 to fund new play equipment.

It comes after two large climbing frames were removed from the play area at Portswood Recreation Ground last July, after a safety inspection from Southampton City Council.

The two pieces of play equipment were designed for older children and parents have told the Echo they were well-used and loved by families in Portswood.

One was known as the Octopus for having eight different activities, such as a fireman’s pole, slides, monkey bars and a climbing frame.

The Tripod also disappeared in July and was known for being the watch tower of the park - where children could see out on the whole field.

Daily Echo: The Octopus and the Tripod were removed from the Rec in 2023The Octopus and the Tripod were removed from the Rec in 2023 (Image: Submitted)In November, volunteers at Friends of Portswood Rec set out to raise £2,500 to build some new equipment at the Rec.

Speaking to the Echo previously, mum-of-two and the group's playground advocate, May Lindsay said: “The park looks empty and woeful. It is so important that our children play outside and socialise, particularly after years being shut away due to Covid.

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"The Rec is so well used and a vital part of the community and that’s why our volunteering group had to pick up the reins."

Despite setting a target of £2,500, the fundraiser has now raised £5,060.

Friends of Portswood Rec recently met with Swaythling councillor, Thomas Gravatt, in order to get the much-needed Rec play area improvements.

Cllr Gravatt said: “It was lovely to meet some members of the Friends of Portswood Rec committee for a walk around the rec and play area.

“They are doing fantastic work to push for much-needed improvements to the Rec.

“The Rec playground is in need of urgent investment to improve the surface, replace the play equipment that has been removed by the council, and improve drainage and accessibility.

“I am going to work hard as a councillor to push for improvements to this great community space.”