Cuckfield, Haywords Heath, West Sussex

Delivering natural play to history-rich area

Sutcliffe Play has installed a range of natural, Jurassic-themed play equipment in Cuckfield, one of the most important sites in the world for early dinosaur discoveries.

The new play equipment provides challenging, adventurous play opportunities whilst reflecting the history of the area.

It was in a quarry in Cuckfield that a fossil from the first dinosaur known to science was uncovered and identified in the 1820s. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, local community group the Cuckfield Society raised funds and worked with Mid-Sussex District Council to enhance the existing village play area with a new play area to reflect the area’s history.

The new playground was required to have low level boulders for seating and play set into the existing landform, some to contain ‘fossils’ of turtles, crocodiles and dinosaurs, as well as a large play item for older children. The Cuckfield Society consulted its members and local children to help direct the project.

Sutcliffe Play designed and installed an exciting play area featuring natural elements such as boulders set into the bank for stepping and sitting on.

The main feature is a bespoke rock stack – built with rocks similar to those excavated from the quarry at Whitemans Green where the fossils were discovered – to challenge children to adventurous play. The rock stack also features a horizontal net and a climbing net, offering climbing and balancing play experiences.

“We wanted a play area which reflected the area’s exciting history, complemented the natural surroundings and challenged children to exciting play which allows them to experience risk in a safe environment,” says Nicole Batten-Evatt of Mid Sussex DC.The finished playground has certainly met our expectations, and it’s always busy.

Play Equipment

Climbing/seating boulders: these boulders complement the natural surroundings and can be used for both climbing and seating, encouraging social play.

Special rock stack: featuring a horizontal net and a climbing net, this large play item delivers challenging, physical play for older children.

The Details
ClientMid-Sussex District Council
Cost20,000
DateSummer
GenreLandscape, Community