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Trevor Chadwick & Days Park, Swanage

Client: Swanage Town Council

Cost: £175,000

Date: January/February 2021

Genre: Community, Inclusive, Local Authority

Destination play spaces for local community

With a population of circa 10,000, of which over 13% are aged 15 years and younger, Swanage Town Council (STC) wanted to refurbish two of its three playgrounds. Both playgrounds, formerly Swanage Recreation Ground which was renamed to Trevor Chadwick playground, and Days Park, received a high number of visitors from the local community and local seasonal visitors to the town.

It was important to STC that both areas provided equal play opportunities for children of all abilities, that they complemented their surroundings, made use of natural play, encouraged cooperative play and educated children on risk and challenge.  Most importantly, STC wanted the playgrounds to become a destination play areas that the local community and passing tourists could enjoy for many years. Our southern distributor Sutcliffe Play South West was awarded the contract to update both playgrounds.

The brief for each site was fairly open and the design was influenced by Play England’s 10 Design Principles with an increased focus on inclusivity. The sites were completed within the time frame agreed with the client, Trevor Chadwick was completed first and Days Park after that.          

Trevor Chadwick Playground

The playground was well used by the local community and seasonal tourists. Located overlooking the main beach in Swanage on a high footfall location meant that the playground needed to withstand both heavy use and the elements. £130,000 of the budget was used on this site to completely overhaul the playground.

During the research stage, the team at Sutcliffe Play South West discovered the story of Trevor Chadwick. A volunteer member of the Swanage Lifeboat crew, Trevor had also been involved in the Kindertransports prior to World War 2 – the organised rescue effort bringing children from Europe to the safety of the UK.

Trevor’s story inspired the design of the playground, with the Toddlerzone Lifeboat unit becoming the focal point. The themed multi play boat climber is packed with play opportunities to encourage imaginative, physical and social play.

18 more pieces of playground equipment were installed to provide a wide range of opportunities both inclusive and dynamic and all equipment was installed onto all-weather surfacing.

Days Park

This site had been refurbished in 2012 so required a lower spend. £40,000 was allocated to introduce four new pieces of playground equipment, refurbish the aerial cableway, alter the fence line and undertake groundwork to make a path more accessible in between the outdoor gym equipment.

In summary, we’re incredibly proud to have worked on both these projects. The playgrounds have been designed to encourage creativity, imagination, physical and social abilities whilst creating low maintenance, robust playgrounds that will withstand heavy use and British weather conditions.

Gail Percival from Swanage Town Council says: “Sutcliffe Play equipment stands out from the crowd as the equipment is large, bright, long lasting and original, with little maintenance requirements. The new playgrounds have proved incredibly popular, and we’re delighted with the design. Both playgrounds complement the local environment, cater for all ages and are providing endless fun for all of their visitors.”

Playground Equipment:

Trevor Chadwick Playground equipment includes:

Toddlerzone Lifeboat

Our Lifeboat themed multi play is a valuable addition to any play provision for younger children and has
many visual cues to encourage imaginative play. With sixteen activities and visual features it can encourage physical, fantasy and social play within a familiar maritime theme all ages can relate to.

Key features include a boat bow with a sea foam decorated edge, a boat registration number and drainage holes for rough seas. Mid decks incorporate a loudhailer on the starboard side and binocular on the port side. A ships wheel is housed in the central cabin which also has a radar mast, flag, and two cabin windows. The stern of the lifeboat has lifebelt panels with ‘RESCUE’ written through them.


2Up 2Down Inclusive Unit

An Inclusive metal climbing frame with two accesses (drag ramp and inclusive net) and two exits (inclusive slide and fireman’s pole), provide a mix of challenges and experiences.The large deck with social seating makes it ideal to rest awhile. The double width inclusive net is large enough for 2 children and doubles up as a hammock.

2 Up 2 Down

  • Inclusive Roundabout
  • Trampoline
  • Nest Swing and 2 Bumper Seats
  • Inclusive Swing Seat
  • Play Panels
  • Sensory play
  • Cobra Swing
  • Hula
  • Seesaw Springie
  • Wilbar Whale
  • Whirlybob
  • 4m High 4 Seat Swing, 2 x Cradle, 1 x Boat and 1 x Tango Seat
  • 4m Single Mast Net Climber
  • Shake Rattle & Roll
  • Bongo Tree
  • Compass stone circle
  • Boulders

Days Park playground equipment includes:

The new equipment includes:

  •  Playzone Challenge Climber
  • 4m high swing with 2 bumper seats
  • 8m high swing with 2 cradle seats

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