We have just completed two brand new woodland themed play areas at Alice Holt Forest, near Farnham. The large scale play structures have been installed to celebrate 100 years since Forestry England was first created to restore the country’s forests after the First World War and celebrate the special habitat Alice Holt provides for people and wildlife.
The “Centenary Trees” play area tells the story of the importance of trees for sustainable timber. Located in the Playwood area by the visitor centre, the entire structure has been built to represent two plantation trees in the process of being felled. The trunks of the trees are at its centre and surrounded by platforms, ladders and netting to show how forestry took place. At 19 meters long it provides several different areas for children to explore including a slide, a climbing area, den spaces, elevated deck areas to play on and a fireman’s pole.
Further into the Forest, on the Habitat Trail, visitors to Alice Holt will discover the second of the new play areas, “Dormouse Crossing”. Dormice, one of Britain’s best loved woodland creatures, spend most of their time up in the trees and rarely come down to the ground. In winter they hibernate in nests woven from bark and leaves created in holes in the trees. In spring and summer they spend most of their time climbing along branches, eating flowers, nuts and insects.