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Martello Park, Suffolk

Client: Suffolk Coastal Norse Ltd

Cost: £135,000

Date: June/July 2015

Genre: Community, Inclusive

Inclusive play by the sea

A new playground designed by playground equipment specialist Sutcliffe Play is delivering exciting play opportunities for children of all ages and abilities in a Suffolk coastal town.

The playground at Martello Park, Felixstowe, features a diverse range of equipment including climbing nets, springies and an inclusive roundabout, ensuring that engaging, challenging play is available for all.

Sutcliffe Play worked with Suffolk Coastal Norse Ltd on behalf of Suffolk Coastal District Council to introduce new play facilities to refresh an existing playground at the site, which features a 19th century Martello Tower and is popular with seafront visitors.

The equipment needed to be able to withstand the sea air and high winds at the site, and to cater to children of all abilities. The design brief stated the need for a range of equipment including a multi-use play feature accessible to children with mobility difficulties; inclusive swing, springie and spinner provisions and a challenging climbing unit aimed at older juniors.

Sutcliffe Play met the brief with a diverse range of equipment including a ‘Boat Climber’ unit from its Toddlerzone range, which is designed to enable co-operation and social interaction, and an inclusive roundabout that allows disabled and able bodied children to enjoy the sensation of spinning side by side.

A Mission Foxfire unit provides challenging play for older juniors. Mission offers testing physical play opportunities focusing on climbing, traversing and descending in unique ways.

The playground also features an inclusive Playzone unit complete with wheelchair access ramps and an inclusive slide. The modular Playzone range is extremely robust and suitable for the most demanding locations.

Peter Lanceley of Suffolk Coastal Norse Ltd said: “The amount of children we have already seen thoroughly enjoying the site speak volumes.

“The new playground has fully met the brief, offering exciting play for children of all ages and abilities, and we have had a great response so far. We’re sure children from the local area and beyond will continue to enjoy it for many years to come. I would be happy to recommend and work with Sutcliffe Play in the future.”

Playground Equipment:

Ben Nevis Double Mast Pyramid Set

Pyramid nets are rope structures that challenge children like trees do. Reaching the top gives a sense of exhilaration and achievement. They help develop coordination, strength and confidence, whilst allowing children to play at heights of relatively low risk.

Oyster Roundabout

The Oyster can be a fast dynamic activity for older children or used as a social meeting point. With its rocking bearing it can provide a supportive environment for younger and less able children where a more gentle motion can be introduced. The flat platform is also advantageous to aiding access in and out of the dish, making it ideal for use in an inclusive playground.

Mission Foxfire

Designed around a small circular traverse, this unit is great for game playing and keeping off the ground. Even at the end of the banister rails, it’s just a couple of quick steps back onto the unit. For those who don’t want to join in the game playing, the spin pole out on its own provides another distinct play space.

Inclusive Roundabout

The flush level Inclusive Roundabout has been designed so that disabled and able bodied children can enjoy the sensation of spinning, all together, at the same time. It has been designed particularly so that wheelchair users can experience the spinning sensation, just as if they were on a traditional roundabout.

30m Cableway with Ramp

Cable rides are dynamic, fun play items great for open access play spaces. Our design is available in four lengths and is available with a starting ramp for level sites. Noise and friction is reduced by a trolley mechanism with polyamide rollers and a spring system at the finish ensures a safe, controlled ride to the end. An integral brake prevents the seat moving on the cable when not in use.

2.4m High Swing with 2 x Pod Seats and 2 x Boat Seats

The Pod Seat hugs a child (like peas in a pod) and uses their body weight to pull it around them. It is very easy to get in and out of. Significantly lighter than other cradle seats, any impact with a child will be less severe. When swinging, the leading edge is flexible and has excellent absorbing properties.

The Inclusive Boat Seat can be used in a dynamic way by two or more children, as an old-fashioned boat swing. It is supplied with adjustable chains so that the seat can also be laid flat.

Wipe Out

The Wipe Out has been designed for children aged between 8-15 years old. This product requires good balance and co-ordination skills from the users. Wipe Out is an excellent product for encouraging social interaction.

Toddlerzone Boat Climber

This unit has a subtle boat/ship theme which encourages imaginative games. A number of ‘sailing’ activities enable co-operation and social interaction.

Wind Rider

This inclusive, themed product encourages young children to develop their balancing, co-ordination and social skills. The surf board platform has been finished with a slip resistant coating and sits on a rocking bearing allowing a controlled range of movements. The handle provides the user with support as they mount and dismount the item.

Helicopter Springie and Crocodile Springie

These springies are specifically designed for more inclusive play and offers a seating arrangement that allows the child to get on and off without assistance and gives good support whilst rocking.

Inclusive Playzone Unit

This large unit has features including a rounded slide, which is not just wide, but tunnel shaped, allowing children to not only feel secure and hold onto the sides, but to also go faster. The top and bottom of the slides are specially designed to make transfer to and from wheelchairs easier. There are also drag ramps, pods of activities, inclined bridges and ramps and a central area providing shaded seating.


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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