Following consultation with the community on what they would like to see at the recreation ground, we were tasked with creating an inclusive space that all members of the community would enjoy. The scheme needed to cater for families, dog walkers, and sports groups alike and we designed and installed four different areas on the recreation where inclusivity and complementing the natural surroundings sat at the heart of our design. The four areas have been created with clear boundaries creating four new destinations within the recreation ground.
The site was already home to a full-size football pitch and some dated play equipment but needed a refresh to make it a destination area for families, sports groups and dog walkers. As the Parish Council manage and maintain the site, it was crucial that all equipment was durable and robust to withstand heavy use.
Having given due consideration to all requirements within the brief, our design included a broad range of play equipment for all ages and abilities, a brand new multi-use games area (MUGA), and a fully enclosed dog exercise area, providing a much-needed destination for the whole community to enjoy.
The site has originally been planned for installation in 2020 but the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns impacted the gathering of funds. Work started much later than planned following funding from Veolia UK and Viridor the recycling and waste management companies and Tarmac, a supplier of sustainable construction materials.
Packed with nine pieces of inclusive playground equipment the Toddler play area was designed to provide a wide range of engaging and educational play opportunities for disabled children and children under six years old. Our Minitown range dominates this area as the range has been designed with the needs and abilities of pre-schoolers in mind. Minitown Villa is a focal point of the playground, the two-tower multi play unit has 14 different play opportunities to create imaginative, physical, social and sensory play opportunities within a single unit.
Other pieces include our original and inclusive dish roundabout, swings, a four-way roundabout and sensory panels. We used brightly coloured floor graphics in this area to inspire imaginative play opportunities including a train track to maximise and complement the train themed pieces of equipment. We also installed a wet pour surfacing to make the playground accessible for wheelchairs and buggies.
The Junior play space has been designed to encourage children to explore the environment with natural features such as mounds, boulders, and trees being incorporated to work alongside the fixed play items to add more interest. We included a range of less prescriptive and dynamic equipment within this space to encourage physical development and allow older children to experiment and socialise with peers and family members. Equipment from our sustainably sourced timber Orchard range features heavily in this space including the Mammoth, a large multiplay unit with over 15 play activities that encourage physical, challenging, social and imaginative play opportunities.
A 25m cableway has also been installed providing exhilarating play alongside a tangle trial, tightrope trail, swings and a Quad Flyer to provide children with hours of fun each time they visit. Picnic tables have also been positioned across this play space to allow parents and carers to watch their children playing.
Positioned away from the play spaces, the Bark Park area has been completely enclosed and provides dog owners with a safe place to exercise their dogs. Benches and litter bins have also been included within the Bark Park to ensure it remain functional.
Multi Use Games Area
Measuring 13.6m wide and 21m long with goal ends at 3.6m high, a MUGA has been with new safety surfacing and line markings to facilitate a huge range of sports including football, tennis, basketball and cricket. Our unique rubber insulation system suppresses noise when the balls rebound on off the walls making it the perfect addition for parks with housing close by.
In summary, we’ve designed the Welbeck Street Recreation Ground to create a low maintenance but high impact destination for the parish council and in just a few weeks after completion it has received incredible feedback from the community.
Norma Woolley from Whitwell Parish Council said:
“As a site protected by Fields in Trust, it was really important to us that these four new areas had maximum play value and also looked at home in the natural setting they are in. Sutcliffe Play more than met that brief, we and the community are delighted with the results.”