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Manor Heath Park, Halifax

Client: The Calderdale Parent and Carer’s Council

Cost: £95,000

Date: 01/06/2006

Genre: Inclusive, Community, Landscape

Lottery Funded Community Project

Manor Heath Park is in the centre of Halifax and has been a very popular attraction for many years. The area offers woodland walks, the water gardens, and, also the Jungle Experience. However, the playground equipment at Manor Park was old and did not cater for the needs of many visitors. The Calderdale Parent and Carers Council had been working for four years on a project to transform the playground. They were very pleased when Yorkshire TV viewers voted for them to receive funding to turn their dream into reality.

Our proposal for the scheme reflected the Sutcliffe Play ethos of using creativity and innovation to give play spaces invisible inclusively, stimulating and challenging whilst also incorporating a necessary element of risk. Due to the importance of making the playground equipment suitable for disabled children as well as the able bodied. Design features such as ramps that provide enough space for wheelchairs to turnaround in, have been incorporated in the scheme.

The scheme won the support of the local community through consultation making it feel like a real community effort organised by local people for the benefit of local people. As well as consultation with local people market research was carried out on 25 local school children in order to help design the playground in a way that would best meet the needs of the children who would be using it.

The completed scheme includes an inclusive Playzone system with ramps and multi level play stations, a rotating dish roundabout, basket swing, springies and a boat seat.

Playground Equipment:

Inclusive Ladybird Springie and Inclusive Springie: These pieces of play equipment are specifically designed for more inclusive play. Their seating arrangements allow a child to get on and off without assistance and give good support whilst rocking.

Dish Roundabout: One of Sutcliffe Play’s most inclusive items, this rotating dish can be used for fast, dynamic play. The rocking and rotating motion of the swing, coupled with the body support and security provided by the dish shape, make this play equipment exciting yes accessible to all. The angle of the dish and its height minimise the lifting required by helpers.

Toddlerzone Unit: This existing piece of children’s play equipment was refurbished. Featuring a climb-up ramp, wide slide and decks, it allows older children, parents or carers plenty of room to help smaller children or those with special needs.

K&K Spring See-Saw: This colourful see-saw enables cooperative play.

Nest Swing: This 2.4m nest swing enables several children to swing at once, encouraging teamwork.

Cradle Seat Swings: Swings with four cradle seats were relocated in the play area.

Special Toddlerzone Maze: This bespoke maze creates an exciting, challenging play space.

Talktubes:  These tubes can be positioned at either end of a play area and enable children to hear each other through the tubes, even when whispering. With a maximum distance of 20m apart, the underground tube is flexible so it can go round corners.

Special Inclusive Unit: This bespoke piece of play equipment is specially designed to enable play for children of all abilities.

Boat Swing: This 2.4m high boat swing features one boat seat and one bumper seat. The inclusive seat can be used in a dynamic way by two or more children, as an old-fashioned boat swing.

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