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Risky play is most popular at Cambridgeshire Adventure Playground

Six months after Cambridgeshire’s new £1 million adventure playground officially opened it is still receiving excellent reviews from local youngsters.

Wisbech Adventure Playground  is one of the 30 adventure playgrounds installed across the country as part of the previous government’s Play Pathfinder scheme.

Reuben Francis, Lead Playworker at the playground says: “The playground has many bespoke features but I have to say the most popular piece of equipment is the ravine swing.  It offers dynamic and risky play and children love the challenge it presents them.”

The ravine swing, the first Sutcliffe Play has ever installed in the UK, is an over-sized triangular shape with hanging ropes that allow two users, young or old, to fly through the air up to approximately 3 meters high.

Reuben continues: “The swing encourages calculable risky play, and children are fascinated with the extreme swings they can achieve.”

The playground also includes a number of unique design features, including:

  • Barges; Two barges were introduced to reflect the surrounding Fenland. They form the hub to facilitate indoor activities, cooking, crafts etc and act as a base for playworkers.
  • Self build system; True to the central premise of adventure play, a system has been developed that allows children to recreate their own structures on a daily basis, using reinforced mesh fabric, Velcro fastenings, ropes and caribinas. Light and versatile, the floors and side panels can also be rolled up and stowed away.
  • Playful pathways; This was a concept developed from the consultation process, and the routes around the playground undulate, wave and bank, also going through a tunnel at one point.
  • Landscaping; The original site was generally flat with few existing features, so the design included a series of stone filled gabions to retain earth banks and mounds, creating differing levels so children can explore new perspectives.

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