Tatenhall, Cheshire

Sand and water play delights at ‘The Ice Cream Farm’

Sutcliffe Play The Ice Cream Farm 2 (2)

Visitors were delighted by new play experiences, including an extensive indoor sand and water play area created by Sutcliffe Play, at the opening of a tourist attraction in Cheshire following a multi-million pound redevelopment.

Sutcliffe Play designed and installed what is thought to be the largest indoor sand and water play area in Europe at The Ice Cream Farm in Tattenhall, which already attracts more than 500,000 visitors a year to sample its award-winning Cheshire Farm Ice Cream.

The new play area, ‘Honeycomb Canyon’, set inside what used to be the Milking Parlour, is now a themed indoor play area suitable for all weathers. It attracted visitors to the opening with its flowing water, wide range of equipment and over 40 tonnes of sand.

The play area is designed to offer inclusive play for children of all ages and abilities. Along with giant tepees with climbing walls and slides, rope bridges and scramble nets, its other features include sand chutes, sieve, pulley and wheels; a water play system with pumps, troughs, rapids and a mixing table, and a watermill system.

“We’re delighted that the new Ice Cream Farm is clearly a hit with children, and it has been a pleasure to create such an exciting sand and water play area as part of the redevelopment,” says Kevin Sellwood, Area Sales Manager for Sutcliffe Play. “Sand and water play is always popular with children of all ages, and encourages cooperative play as well as triggering their imagination

“We hope children from the local area and far beyond continue to enjoy it for many years to come.

Jonathan Fell, Director of Cheshire Farm Ice Cream, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many smiling faces at The Ice Cream Farm, the plans have been a long time in the making and we were so excited about the launch. We have assessed every area of The Ice Cream Farm to create, what we believe to be, the ultimate tourist attraction.”

Play equipment:

Inclusive sand play system: this includes a sand chute and sieve, stair access, a sand pulley, sand wheel, sand funnel and chute

Toddler (under 3s) area with seating and perimeter

Toddler (under 3s) water play: this includes platform step access, a water pump with wheel, water trough with sluice, a small trough, water cone diverter, mixing table and a square water table with a plug.

Junior sand and water ‘panning for gold’ equipment: with features including a water pump with a wheel, a hexagonal water table with plug and a water dispenser, this exciting aspect allows children to look for fool’s gold.

Inclusive water spiral or Archimedes Screw: this features a receiving basin, collecting basin, hand wheel spiral and rectangular water table.

Water rill feed

Watermill system: this system includes water spiral with a crank handle and a waterwheel with a delivery trough.

Water scoop with pond: The water flows down a stream into a collecting pond where children rotate the water scoop and raise the water into a play table and back toward the Archimedes screw.

‘Rivers and Rapids’: As the water passes into a collection table the rapids can be moved by the children to redirect water and so create different water shapes.

 Sand and water play: The sand and water mix is always a favourite. This allows children to build sand castles, make shapes in the sand and pretend they are by the seaside.

Stilt platforms and walkway: being above the ground on stilts always excites children and their imagination. It encourages role play and a feeling of increased challenge and daring.

Prospector trail with boulder climb, rope bridge and inclined poles, this feature will create a feeling of climbing through a giant canyon and all the excitement that goes with that.

Winnetou Tepee, Apache Tepee, Totem Pole and Pow-Wow: As with all canyons, Cowboys and Indians play a big part especially with children. The play area features a giant wigwam that reaches right to the roof with climbing walls and a pole slide and a smaller one that has nets and lookout post which children will love….Don’t forget to look for the giant Bumble Bee!

The Details
ClientCheshire Farm Ice Cream
Cost300,000
DateJuly 2015
GenreInclusive, Landscape