FAMILIES flocked to a city park for an event to encourage children to play outside.

Donkey rides, inflatables and a Punch and Judy Show were among the fun on offer at Cripplegate Park in St John's.

The day was organised in celebration of National Play Day by the Worcester Play Council and supported by Perdiswell Young People’s Leisure Club and Freedom Leisure.

Heather Giannasi, Worcester Play Council chairman, said: “We think play is absolutely vital, especially outdoors, as the number of children playing outside is dwindling.”

She added: "We are here to celebrate National Play Day and raise awareness of the importance of the Play Council in Worcester.”

Mayor of Worcester, Councillor Allah Ditta joined in with the games alongside his wife, Mayoress Naseem Akhtar.

He said: “It is great to be able to share Worcester’s beautiful parks and open spaces with so many families. Parks are a part of our city’s great heritage and I am very proud to be here.”

Children could also have their faces painted, try out sand art, rock painting and jewellery making at the event, which ran from noon until 3pm yesterday.

Worcester Play Council is running free play sessions across Worcester throughout the summer.

To find out more, visit: worcesterplaycouncil.org.uk/

National Play Day is traditionally held on the first Wednesday in August. This year’s theme is Play Builds Children.