Solihull, West Midlands

Playbuilder Scheme Transforms Solihull Play Areas

Solihull Playbuilder Scheme

Sutcliffe Play’s brief was to design play areas with equipment that challenges children and encourages them to take risks in a safe environment. Incorporating Adventurous and risky play is an important part of growing up and is integral to helping children to stay happy and healthy, develop social skills and learn how to safely manage risk

 Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council was allocated £1.1million pounds by the Government as part of the national Playbuilder scheme which will see improvements to 25 play areas in Solihull over a two year period. The aim to provide young people with good quality places to play, near to where they live.

Evaluation and analysis exercises on each of the companies tender proposals were completed with local schoolchildren and Solihull children’s school council were also involved in a further consultation exercise. Meetings were organised between Solihull Council, Sutcliffe Play and representatives of the school council to further discuss and approve the design proposals.

The Equipment

The first six play areas have already been revamped by Sutcliffe Play utilising both natural and fixed play equipment.

•    Tudor Grange Park play area – features a new sand pit, children’s seating, slides, natural play boulders to clamber over, new skate facilities.
•    Marston Green Park play area – includes new climbing equipment, a large group swing, and play trail
•    Colebrook Recreation Ground – including a new area for older children with a seating/meeting area and new equipment for younger children including swings, climbing equipment, see-saw and roundabout
•    Dorridge Park play area – includes a new basket swing, a 4m high space net, climbing frame, tower climbing boulder and trampolines
•    Elmdon Heath Park play area – including a new play trail leading from the car park, a BMX track, a basket swing, spinning dishes, a climbing frame and trampolines
•    Kingshurst Park play area – including a new large curved embankment slide, climbing equipment, large boulders, spinning dish and see-saw

TUDOR GRANGE PARK PLAY AREA

Boat Climber Toddlerzone Unit:  Themed like a boat, this piece of play equipment has many features to give the feeling of being at sea: binoculars, a ship’s steering wheel, megaphone, wave and sail panels. The easy climb-up ramp makes it suitable for a wide age range.

K&K Sandbox: This sand box encourages creative and social play.

Also includes: Oak Railway Sleeper Steps, 6 x Purbeck Boulders, Stone Climbing Compass & Island Leisure Seating.

MARSTON GREEN PLAY AREA

Small Seesaw: This tried and tested seesaw for younger children also enables adults to sit or stand with a child to help balance them on the equipment.

Climb and Slide Toddlerzone Unit: This Toddlerzone unit is a little more challenging, but thanks to the climb up ramp it is still accessible to all. The wide slide and decks mean older children, parents or carers have plenty of room to help small children or those with special needs.

Horse Springie: This exhilarating, horse-shaped springie has easy grip hand and foot holds with anti-slip ends.

Inclusive Springie Basic: Designed for more inclusive play this springie’s seating arrangement enables children to get on and off unaided and provides good support during rocking.

Stepping Pod x 3: These stepping pods have a rubber moulded top and can be installed at varying heights, allowing children to hop from one to another. They are ideal for developing balance and the skill of judging distances.

Inclusive Springie Helicopter: This helicopter springie is specifically designed for inclusive play. Its seating arrangement allows the child to get on and off without assistance and gives good support whilst rocking.

Pole Spin: The Pole Spin is designed for one and two children to discover the effect of centrifugal forces, speeding up and slowing down by moving in and out from the central pole.

Trio Rocker: Aimed at more able children, this piece of play equipment has a central handle which gets the rocker moving vigorously. The lower part of the handle opens out to provide support for a child sitting. Slip resistant even when wet, the platform also provides good cushioning if children fall and low noise as sounds are dampened.

Dizzy Disc: It takes considerable skill to stay on this revolving Dizzy Disc, which is excellent for developing balance.

K&K Single Point Swing: This swing allows children to stand or sit on the half tyre platform whilst enjoying the swinging motion.

Also includes a Cone Climber

COLEBROOK RECREATION GROUND PLAY AREA

K&K Single Point Swing: This swing allows children to stand or sit on the half tyre platform whilst enjoying the swinging motion.

Low Rotator: This challenging three station rotator requires strength, balance and co-ordination. Children control the speed themselves, with centrifugal forces meaning that as they lean in, the rotator goes faster, as they lean out, it slows down.

Rotating Beam: Walking on this rubber covered, rotating beam mirrors walking along a wobbly tree trunk or wall and is ideal for developing balance and coordination skills.

2.4m High Swing with 2 x Bumper, 2 x Pod Seats: This swing set features bumper seats – a seat with smooth, round edges, ergonomically designed to help children learn to swing – and revolutionary pod seats.

Bicycle Mill: This piece of play equipment is suitable for one, two or three children. Each bicycle works independently which means that if there is more than one child on the equipment at a time and one stops pedalling, only their pedals stop turning. The wheels do not touch the ground, so there is a very low level of resistance, making cycling easy.

Helicopter Springie: This springie is specifically designed for more inclusive play.

Hide & Slide Toddlerzone Unit:  This unit offers three levels of access to a 1.2m high slide: up a ramp, a ladder or a ring climb. There is hidden social seating under the main deck, where little ones can sit, chat and hide, and look-out binoculars at the highest point.

Large Seesaw: This seesaw’s longer beam offers more movement, and features an ergonomic soft seat that holds children in place.

DORRIDGE PARK PLAY AREA

K&K Climbing Unit: This piece of play equipment features an inclined climbing wall and a hand-over-hand section.

K&K Hex Climber: This exciting climbing unit presents an opportunity for challenging play.

K&K Jumping Platform x 3: Children can enjoy active play on these jumping plates.

4m High Space Net: Rope structures created to challenge children just like trees would do. Developing coordination, strength & confidence whilst playing at heights with relatively low risk.

K&K Balance Beam: Walking along this challenging balance beam can help develop balance skills.

Basket Swing: Designed to hold several young children and those with special needs, this nest swing encourages teamwork in play.

2 x Trampoline: Fantastic fun & perfect for physical play & developing coordination

2.4m Swing with 2 x Bumper Seats: This swing set’s bumper seats have a smooth rounded edge, ergonomically designed to help children learn to swing.

K&K Combination Climber: This exciting piece of play equipment features a scramble net and slide.

ELMDON HEATH RECREATION GROUND

2 x Trampoline: Fantastic fun & perfect for physical play & developing coordination

Pole Spin: The Pole Spin is designed for one and two children to discover the effect of centrifugal forces, speeding up and slowing down by moving in and out from the central pole.

Leap Frog Posts: Children can explore a physical challenge with these leap frog posts in varying heights.

K&K Jumping Platform x 3: Children can enjoy active play on these jumping plates.

Stepping Pod x 6: These stepping pods have a rubber moulded top and can be installed at varying heights, allowing children to hop from one to another. They are ideal for developing balance and the skill of judging distances.

K&K Balance Beam: Walking along this challenging balance beam can help develop balance skills.

Dish Roundabout: One of Sutcliffe Play’s most inclusive items, this rotating dish can be used for very fast, dynamic play. The rocking and rotating motion combined with the body support and security given by the dish shape make this dish accessible to all.

1.8m high Swing with 2 x Pod Seats: The pod seat featured in this swing set is a revolutionary, technically superior seat for toddlers. Advanced rubber technology around stainless steel cables gives it flexibility, so the pod actually ‘hugs’ the child.

Starter Climber Playzone Unit:  This small unit is for younger juniors aged 3-8, with a lower overall height at 1.2m and easier access via a scramble net, hoop climber and a simple ladder.

Low Rotator: This challenging three station rotator requires strength, balance and co-ordination. Children control the speed themselves, with centrifugal forces meaning that as they lean in, the rotator goes faster, as they lean out, it slows down.

2.4m Swing with 2 x Bumper Seats: This swing set’s bumper seats have a smooth rounded edge, ergonomically designed to help children learn to swing.

2.4m High Swing with 1 x Nest Seat: Designed to hold several young children and those with special needs, this nest swing encourages teamwork in play.

Small Seesaw: This tried and tested seesaw for younger children also enables adults to sit or stand with a child to help balance them on the equipment.

KINGHURST PARK PLAY AREA

Dish Roundabout: One of Sutcliffe Play’s most inclusive items, this rotating dish can be used for very fast, dynamic play. The rocking and rotating motion combined with the body support and security given by the dish shape make this dish accessible to all.

Small Seesaw: This tried and tested seesaw for younger children also enables adults to sit or stand with a child to help balance them on the equipment.

2 x Posts & Pull Up Rope leading to an Embankment Slide:  A fun way to descend down a hill.

Inclusive Springie: Designed for more inclusive play this springie’s seating arrangement enables children to get on and off unaided and provides good support during rocking.

Long Climb Playzone Unit: This transitional unit is ideal for older toddlers and juniors alike, and features increasingly difficult challenges including a climbing wall, fireman’s pole and hand-over-hand section, to children keep coming back again and again

Also includes: Oak Railway Sleeper Steps, 6 x Purbeck Boulders & Purbeck Stone Climbing Boulders

The Details
ClientSolihull Metropolitan Borough Council
Cost£1.1 Million
Date
GenreLandscape, Youth, Community