In the heart of Dernancourt is this small, but widely used reserve. If you visit when school is out, then you will nearly always find children playing there. The reasons for this are simple - it has a fun playground and there is plenty of room to move and play.
The wide open area on the east end of the playground is perfect for ball games, kite flying and the like. My son and his friends have played more than few games of pick-up soccer here. We have also seen a local fitness group use the area on more than one occasion.
Surprisingly for a modern reserve, there are trees that have been maintained at a shape and level that enables them to be climbed by children. I understand that insurance concerns often preclude this from being allowed to happen, but my son loves it and the fact that he has an opportunity to climb where the lower limbs of the trees have not been hacked off is something he enjoys immensely. I have to say, as a child I enjoyed tree climbing, so it is only fair that my son has the same opportunities.
In recent times the reserve has been upgraded remarkably well. There are now paths all around it and the landscaping looks particularly well done, with the work clearly ongoing. It is maintained well, and rarely is there any litter on the ground.
Other facilities include benches (including a memorial bench) and a table with benches, as well as a drinking fountain. The trees supply ample shade for any parents or carers watching over their children.
But the main selling point to my children is the playground equipment. Again, in recent times a large shade cloth has been constructed over the top of it, but the equipment itself is something fun. There is a load of different climbing experiences for children of all ages to enjoy and be challenged by, as well as the mandatory swings and slippery dips. This is a playground that my children enjoy a lot. But it is also finished off well, with a retaining wall around it keeping the bark chips in the one spot - under the equipment - and not spread out everywhere across the ground. Definitely a strong plus in the reserve's favour.
It seems that in the Dernancourt, Holden Hill and Gilles Plains areas there are playgrounds all over the place. It certainly gives a wide variety to the residents and their children, and allows endless exploring without going to the same venues all the time.