New hourly sessions introduced at a Bushey paddling pool have led to angry parents criticising the council’s "silly scheme", which could see families spend more time in queues than in the water.

Keri Barr took her two children, three-year-old Chloe and five-year-old Ava, to the King George Recreation Ground paddling pool on Saturday.

The 38-year-old was told by staff that the family would have to queue for about half an hour to get a wristband to use the pool.

The scheme has been introduced by Hertsmere Borough Council to manage the number of people who use the popular facility.

Yet Mrs Barr said the new scheme will affect the number of times she will be visiting the park.

The Harcourt Road resident said: "The pool is meant specifically for local residents and now they’re telling me that I can’t use the pool, even though I live down the road.

"They’ve not only shortened the number of hours the pool is open but now they’re telling us that when we arrive we have to stand in a queue to get a ticket to use it."

Mrs Barr said she only found out about the "silly scheme" on Saturday and that the there were other parents in the park who were "furious" at the waiting times.

Hertsmere Borough Council has introduced four separate hour-long sessions that will take place daily at park.

David Smith, parks and amenities manager, said: "Because of the recent high temperatures, the paddling pool has been extremely popular, which is great to see but it also presents us with a problem on how to manage numbers.  

"The water is deeper than a splash pool so we have to be more careful with overcrowding as well as adhere to different standards in water quality.

"The plant equipment and apparatus at the paddling pool is simply not able to treat the water to the standards required when there are too many people in it and when it is so hot, as sunlight reduces the effectiveness of the chlorine.

"Therefore in order to ensure that users - many of whom are young children - are safe, we must be able to control the numbers in some way so we are trialling the issuing of different coloured wristbands to children for the different sessions.  You can get the wristbands from the pool half an hour beforehand, on a first come, first served basis."

Last year dozens of families who had children above the age of eight were turned away from the pool because staff were worried "they could start water fights".

The new hourly sessions are as follows:

Tuesday to Sunday

  • 11.30am to 12.30pm - wristbands available from 11am
  • 1pm to 2pm - wristbands available from 12.30pm
  • 2.30pm to 3.30pm - wristbands available from 2pm
  • 4pm to 5pm - wristbands available from 3.30pm


  • 1pm to 2pm - wristbands available from 12.30pm
  • 2.30pm to 3.30pm - wristbands available from 2pm
  • 4pm to 5pm - wristbands available from 3.30pm

Half an hour in between sessions is needed to clean up and manage the water quality.