Oakwell Hall County Park is located on the site of a reclaimed coal mine in Birstall, West Yorkshire. The area is very popular among the local community as it is good for cyclists, ramblers, dog walkers and horse riders. However, what it lacked was a suitable playground to cater for the needs of all children. The play equipment was wooden and nearing the end of its life span with drawbacks such as no wheelchair access. When the Head Ranger Richard Aspinall heard about the ‘Communities for Health’ funding he decided to embark on a project to transform the play area.
Design and Build
The main purpose of the project was to provide play opportunities for all children. A playground was required that allowed all abilities to play side by side helping to reduce inequalities in the playground.
Consultation was undertaken with park users, parents of a local school for children with special needs and members of the Local Area Committee to research into the needs and wants of the people most likely to use the new play area.