This has been our lockdown project, from winning the tender in June 2020 to the first weekend open to the public in mid April 2021. We have worked through the winter to build an inclusive natural play space for all ages and abilities of children. Book play sessions through this link.
The new play area contains two distinct spaces – the Sensory Garden and the Wild Wood – as well as swings, hammocks and a large trampoline.
The Sensory Garden is designed with younger children in mind, although most of the equipment is suitable for a range of ages and abilities, including a variety of imaginative water play equipment. It provides a space where children can investigate and discover their world through creative play or test their physical abilities in more active play.
The Wild Wood is designed to physically challenge older children and teenagers. It includes three different tree houses of varying heights and level of challenge wrapped around existing pine trees. There’s a rope and pole agility course climbing pyramid and a zip wire, as well as sound cushions and carved woodland animals at ground level to add interest for younger children.
Throughout the play area, natural elements such as logs, boulders, water, timber and the trees help create a space that connects children to nature and provide a sense of wellbeing.
The play area includes a range of inclusive and interactive equipment – including a spinning disc, swings, musical chime walkway and a trampoline that are suitable for wheelchair users.
Additional seating has been created, for parents and carers as well as visitors using of the paddling pool. Other improvements to the café, public toilets and car parks were completed in preparation for the new play area earlier in the year, including a changing places facility for disabled users.
The play area is designed to have year-round appeal for local families and their children. Accessibility has also been improved with new surfaced paths to the paddling pool, café and toilets.