Splash pads are being prepared to be switched on for the summer as a council grapples with the problem of geese leaving a mess on the popular family attraction. 

This year will be the first full summer season that the pad at Abbey Meadow in Abingdon has been used since, the council said, it "made improvements to reduce the number of geese in the area".

The new fence along the river front was installed last year to help to keep young children safely in the park and deter geese who were causing havoc for riverside picnicers and 'several hours, most days' of cleaning for authority staff.

This year the kiosk will have a seating area for customers to enjoy their refreshments and make the most of the surroundings.

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It will be turned on Saturday May 27 and will be available to use every day until the start of September.

The splash pad at Memorial Park in Wantage, which is managed by the Vale of White Horse District Council’s parks team, will also be switched on Saturday May 27 until the start of September.

Cllr Debra Dewhurst, cabinet member for Leisure Centres and Community Buildings, said: “The splash pads in the Vale are a really popular feature for families over the summer. And at a time when many are experiencing cost-of-living pressures having access to something like this that will entertain children for free is invaluable.

“The addition of the outdoor seating area at Abbey Meadow this year is just another reason why people will come to Abingdon and I am looking forward to enjoying an ice cream there with my children.”

It is hoped the new fence will stop all but the most determined birds.

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Cllr Mark Coleman, cabinet member for Environmental Services and Waste, added: “We know that the fencing at Abbey Meadow won’t stop all the geese from flocking around the area, but the hope is it will be a deterrent and it will help to keep children using the pads safe from running towards the river.

“We have some great parks in the district with fantastic facilities for families and it’s lovely to see them so busy over the school holiday period.”

Meanwhile the council hopes Abbey Meadow outdoor pool will be ready ahead of the school summer holidays on Monday July 24 and will be open for six weeks over the summer.

The council and its leisure provider GLL will begin preparing the pool for use from late June.