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Wobbly Wood in Lancaster

Client: Lancaster City Council

Cost: £105,000

Date: 01/04/2016

Genre: Landscape, Community

Grade listed grounds embrace wobbly wood.

Williamson Park’s two playgrounds needed a much deserved makeover following over 10 years of heavy use by an increasing amount of visitors to the popular destination park.

With funding from the Council, and a £30,000 grant secured by volunteer group the Friends of Williamson Park from the Lancashire Environmental Fund, Sutcliffe Play was tasked with transforming the play areas, one for under 7’s and the other for under 12’s.

It was important that the equipment used was in keeping with the graded listed nature of the grounds and nearby buildings.

To complement the playground’s natural setting the robinia wood range was used as the primary equipment.  The wood-based units are made with a unique sculptural, textural quality.

The focal point is a Climbing Shipwreck that is built into the rubber surfacing and encourages imaginative play, co-operation and social interaction.  The attached climbing net helps children to develop balance whilst also providing physical and exciting play opportunities.

Wooden stilts and running plates are set at varying heights for children to hop from one to another, developing balance and the skill of judging distance and risk.

Inclusive elements including a nest swing, roundabout and Climb & Slide unit, also feature, to ensure that children of all abilities can play side-by-side.

“Williamson Park has never been busier with a record number of visits since the new playgrounds opened. Visitors love the park, the grounds and all the improvements that we’ve made over the last few years, but one area that’s regularly commented on is the play facilities.  The range fits perfectly in the setting and helps to create a more adventurous and natural feel.”

Will Griffith, Public Realm Operations Manager, Lancaster City Council

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