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Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire

Client: Anglian Water Services

Cost: £35,000

Date: 01/05/2016

Genre: Landscape & Inclusive

Grafham Water visitor centre

Grafham Water is set in 1500 acres of countryside, ideal for family days out and sporting activities, with 10 miles of cycle track around the waterline. The client wanted an exciting new play area to be located outside the visitor centre, next to the car park at the entrance to Grafham Water, which would complement the natural environment. The play area was to be a key attraction, fundamental in increasing foot traffic and visitor numbers to the site, giving families a reason to visit and an incentive to stay longer.

Sutcliffe Play was selected to design and install the new playground following an extensive design and build tender process.

Anglian Water Services requested Sand Play to form the basis of the play area. The final design included a Sandwork multi-play unit, that encourages interactive and social play, and sand diggers giving children of all ages the freedom to excavate and create in the sand. Talk tubes were positioned at opposite sides of the play area enabling further opportunities for children to socialise, even hearing each other whisper from 20m away.

Incorporating inclusive play facilities was key for Grafham Water, as a local attraction which prides itself on disability access and the available facilities. The sandworks equipment was tailored with specially designed ramp access to ensure able bodied children and those with disabilities could play together. The bespoke sandworks unit also features a pulley system and chutes to transport the sand.The final design also included Springy pods, designed specifically to develop balance and coordination, and Kinderland stilts to offer more challenging play.

“At Grafham Water Park, we are extremely excited to be working with Sutcliffe Play to create a fantastic new children’s play area just in time for the summer. The new ‘sand play’ area is sure to be a big hit with thousands of families which visit Grafham Water on an annual basis.”

Angela Tarry, Grafham Water & Northants Parks Manager.

Playground Equipment:

Sand Digger

With a fully articulated action this item gives children the opportunity to excavate and create. Stainless steel construction and sand proof bearings ensure long life and less maintenance.

Sandworks Play Unit

A clever compact unit that allows children to play together in different ways. They can climb and sit or use the pulley system and sieve, to move sand up and down

Wooden Stilts                                                                                

Stilts with bars provide physical, challenging play

Springy Pod

Springie Pods with a soft rubber moulded top improve balance and coordination

Playzone Talk Tubes

Position these at either end of the play area and children will even be able to hear each other whispering. With a maximum distance of 20m apart, the underground tube is flexible so it can go round corners.

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