For half a century youngsters have enjoyed the 10ft slide in the playground, with no more serious mishap than the occasional bruise or grazed knee.
Many of the parents bringing their children had themselves played on the towering steel structure years ago.
The tradition has, however, been brought to an abrupt halt by that modern scourge, health and safety.
The slide was fenced off last summer while investigations into a nearby collapsed drain were carried out. It has now been dismantled amid concerns that it could cause serious injury.
A spokesman for Birmingham Botanical Gardens admitted yesterday that parents had complained about the decision – but confirmed that the slide will not be coming back.
Instead, officials plan to install a safer replacement with higher sides, when a suitable model has been identified for the playground in Edgbaston, a stone’s throw from the city centre. Local Conservative councillor James Hutchings said: ‘It’s completely mad the way we are being run ragged by the health-and-safety mafia.
‘Children are not going to learn how to judge risks - or how to have fun - if challenging play equipment such as this is denied them.
‘If there hadn’t been an accident in 50 years then the chances are there’s not much wrong with this slide.’
Rachael McKelvey, 35, from Edgbas-ton, often used to take her daughter Jade to the playground. She said: ‘Jade’s a teenager, but she used to love playing on that slide.
‘The new slide will probably be like ones you see in pub gardens and playgrounds all over the place. At least the original had some character.’
Linda Keen, spokesman for the gardens, said the slide was installed in 1958 and confirmed there had been no serious mishaps - or even complaints made about it. ‘It is quite high but it’s very sturdy and there has never been a danger of a child falling off. A few parents have contacted me and told me that they are disappointed the slide has been removed.’
She said the decision was taken after a health-and-safety audit commissioned by the gardens from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents raised concerns over the slide’s safety last year.
Rospa pointed out that the slide did not meet standards introduced in 1999 to regulate playground equipment, but admitted that these regulations did not cover existing equipment.
Mrs Keen said that work to replace the drainage system, which has stood under the gardens since they opened in 1832, would soon begin.
‘As part of that work we had to bore down below the slide, meaning that it had to be moved in any case. Sadly it will not be returning. Instead we are currently deciding what to replace it with.
‘There will still be a slide there but this time it will be combined with something like a treehouse as well. It was an agonising decision to take down the slide but the last thing we want to happen is an accident now that safety fears have been flagged up.’
The gardens’ chief executive James Wheeler added: ‘We are still fully committed to investing in our playground.
‘More than £25,000 has been spent on it already and we are constantly striving to find ways of entertaining our younger visitors.’
The 15-acre gardens were designed by J.C. Loudon, a leading horticultural journalist. They include the original bandstand plus four glasshouses whose displays include a tropical rainforest.