ROCHFORD District Council’s mascot, Max the Dragon, joined councillors and some very excited children at Hockley Woods.

The youngsters were there for the re-opening of the new and improved play area.

The new play equipment represents one of the most significant investments to play facilities in the Rochford district in recent years and was installed after an extensive community consultation was carried out, which included asking children what kind of play equipment they would like to see.

The project was made possible after the council obtained £45,000 of funding from Cory Environmental Trust in Britain - an environmental body which supports community and environmental projects and awards grants from the Landfill Communities Fund.

Dave Sperring, councillor responsible for the environment, said: “This is a fantastic facility which looks great, too. We are delighted that due to the hard work of council officers we have managed to get the job completed just in time for the school summer holidays.

“If the park encourages more children to play outside and get some exercise that has to be a good thing for families.”