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Play Forest helps regeneration in Wakefield

Client: Castleford Project & Cutsyke CG

Cost: £220,000

Date: Completed June 2005

Genre: Landscape, Community, Youth

Outdoor play forest helps regeneration

A regeneration project of Cutsyke, once a thriving West Yorkshire mining town was important in improving children’s play facilities.  Classed as an area of high deprivation where children’s outdoor play facilities were, until recently, virtually non-existent, community consultation was key.

Consultation with the local community played an important part throughout this regeneration project, from the initial design and planning stages to completion. Children, in particular, were at the heart of the project, and even selected the final design from a number of plans submitted as part of the Channel 4 regeneration project.

Client Brief

To transform and regenerate derelict council allotments in a mining town that had become a dumping ground, into a 400 sq metre showcase play forest.

Design Proposal

The design was the subject of a competition, where the brief was written between Wakefield MDC and the Community. The children of Cutsyke chose Architects Allen Todd Associates as the winning design, who then subcontracted the design to Landscape Architects Estell Warren.

Our Solution

The 400 sq metre play forest, comprises overlapping grids of 6m and 3m high poles. Nets and equipment are located between them, creating a unique 3-d environment with ‘no way in, no way out and no prescribed routes to follow’. It also boasts 2 very large tunnel slides and a unique 4 metre high platform. Another unique feature of the forest is the poles that are topped with solar powered LED lights, transforming it into a beacon at night

Cutsyke Play Forest

Today, the area is a great source of pride for many people, for many different reasons. What’s really heartening is to see how the community has taken ownership of the forest and its people are working hard to maintain it at its very best.

News of Cutsyke Play Forest has travelled fast, resulting in visits not just from neighbouring towns and villages, but from as far afield as Scotland, Holland and Bulgaria.


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