New Changing Places facility and water fountain at Woodside Playing Field

Woodside playing fields new toilet and fountain

Woodside Playing Fields, has taken a significant step towards inclusivity, accessibility and sustainability with a new Changing Places toilet facility and also a water refill station...

*PLEASE NOTE: The changing places room will be opening soon.


Both improvements – led by Watford Borough Council – were carried out to enhance the amenities available to all members of the community at the playing fields. The new water fountain, which includes an integral dog bowl, will provide access to free drinking water, and help to reduce the amount of plastic generated by water bottles.

The newly refurbished toilet block at Woodside Playing Fields – supported by a £94,500 grant from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities (DLUHC) – now features a state-of-the-art Changing Places toilet, designed to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities and their carers. The facility includes features such as a height-adjustable changing bench, a ceiling hoist system, and ample space for manoeuvrability, ensuring comfort, safety, and dignity for all users.

Key modifications to the infrastructure of the block have been made to accommodate the Changing Places facility. The installation of a pitched roof has allowed for increased ceiling height, necessary for the operation of the hoist system. Additionally, the footpath leading to the toilet has been resurfaced, prioritising ease of access and improved accessibility for visitors of all abilities.

Woodside playing fields new toilet and fountain 2
Photo: New facilities at Woodside Playing Fields

The introduction of the Changing Places toilet at Woodside Playing Fields complements existing efforts by the council to enhance accessibility across the town's parks. Open spaces such as Oxhey Activity Park and Cassiobury Park have already been equipped with similar amenities, reflecting the council's commitment to ensuring that everyone can enjoy the town's open spaces comfortably.

Several other locations in Watford also boast Changing Places toilets, including Watford FC, Tesco, Asda, Watford Central Library and more. These facilities play a crucial role in fostering inclusivity and ensuring that individuals with disabilities have access to essential amenities while out and about in the community.

Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to install this new Changing Places toilet and a new water fountain at Woodside Playing Fields. It is really important that everyone can enjoy our fantastic parks in Watford.  

“These improvements will reduce the amount of plastic we use and will make our park more accessible too. The team did a great job to secure the funding needed for this and made sure the project was completed to such a high standard.”

Cllr Tim Williams, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services, said: “Adding public drinking water fountains in our Green Flag award-winning parks is really important. It enables residents enjoying recreational activities in the parks to stay hydrated, particularly during activities like walking, jogging, sports, and utilising outdoor gyms or playgrounds. These fountains offer a convenient way to refill reusable drinking bottles, thereby reducing the volume of plastic waste destined for landfills.”

For more information, including locations of Changing Places across the UK, please visit changing-places.org/find.

Oxhey activity park Changing place
Photo: Facilities at Oxhey Activity Park

Published: 14th May 2024

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