We look forward to starting this Autumn on an inclusive natural play space for all ages and abilities of children from 2 to 16. The play equipment ranges in challenge and height keeping under the required 4m limit and provides multi use spaces that allows different ages to play alongside each other. The work is for Wokingham Borough Council in Berkshire to replace the existing playground at California Country Park. There are two areas linked by a series of accessible paths.
The Sensory Garden Creative, sculptural, inclusive, tactile, natural, challenging
We have designed this area to enable creative and imaginative natural play for both younger children aged 2 – 8 years and disabled children and adults. It is a completely inclusive space where children can investigate and discover their world through creative play or test their physical abilities in more active play. We have have primarily used bespoke play equipment but included some catalogue items from trusted suppliers when they bring added value to the play provision. It is designed to have year round appeal for families during weekend and school holiday visits and to the pre-school, child minders and carers during mid week term time. This is turn will maximise usage and provide a regular revenue stream for the cafe and car park.
The Wild Wood high level, exciting, challenging, risky, imaginative
This is a new active, challenging play space set in the shade of the tall pines designed to test the physical ability of 8 – 16 year olds. We have designed three Tree Houses to wrap around and enhance the height of the existing pine trees and create key views from the cafe and picnic area. Surrounding the Tree Houses in the woodland is a rope and pole course, zip wire at the back. We have used rough robinia sawn boards for the decking and added natural coloured slip strips to minimise slips.
It was important to introduce play equipment will be as appealing in cooler or wetter weather to increase footfall and that the accessibility was as good on a wet day as a dry day given that the site is prone to water logging.
We have combined bespoke play design with off the shelf items carefully selected for their play value and quality. All bespoke equipment is provided with a structural engineer’s report, ROSPA post installation inspection and complies with EN BS 1176/77 play standards.
As much as possible we have used natural elements such as logs, boulders, water, trees and timber to create a space that connects children to nature and provide a sense of well being. This is a cohesive design that considers the parents and carers experience as well as the children. By improving the overall visitor experience the new play space will increase repeat visits, dwell time and revenue for the cafe and car park.