Stratford upon Avon District Council supported by the local community requested through a tender process, that the old play equipment and surfacing to be removed and sought to create an uplifting and stimulating community space transforming this unstimulating area. Key elements that would ensure the success of the area where;
The Council undertook a pre tender consultation exercise with children to seek their preferred choice of play provision.
Location: Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire
Date of Installation: February 2017
Age Group: Up to 12 years old
Product Range: MOMENTS, Story Maker, Galaxy, Robinia
Project Value: £70,000
Choice of products and colour should attract children and provide for a wide range of creative and social play opportunities
The brief required the play space to be zoned by age range providing an area for infants and younger children that should be bright and playful with a central multi-play feature. In addition, more dynamic play for older age ranges and an area for agility and fitness to extend the play space into a more natural open space of the site.
KOMPAN zoned the play space to provide a very attractive array of play items for infants through to young children, the main element in this area is large centrepiece `Palace and Fortress' multi-play unit within a single Rubber Mulch surfaced area. The use of one continuous surface providing for both ease of access for users and ease of future maintenance for the Council. The play items have been selected for their play value ensuring a variety of choice to encourage cognitive, physical and social play with plenty of tactile features that are also accessible at ground level.
The addition of a picnic table in this area for parents/grandparents also provides for more convenient and comfortable supervision of young children.
Segregation without barriers
Progressively towards the southern areas of the play space KOMPAN proposed more dynamic play items for the older age ranges that encourage social interaction and challenge including our Multi Seesaw (with inclusive back support and large central deck), Super Nova (every ones favourite roundabout!), Swings with basket, flat and inclusive seat and Robinia Fitness Agility Trail items.
All offering progressive play opportunities, whilst keeping this local play area open and accessible.
Consider local residents whose properties overlook the park
One of the key aspects from the consultation feedback was to ensure that the quality of life for local residents is not negatively affected by the location of the new play elements. In particular, the use of high play tower structures; thus preventing the invasion of privacy to the residential properties and minimising noise pollution. Therefore mindful of ensuring we do not introduce too many play elements that would have a detrimental effect on their quality of life we have focused upon providing quality products with higher play value and under 2.6m in height.
Offer activity to all the community
A fitness trail is included to provide benefit to our proposals, as we as a high tower multi-play unit, to provide the junior age ranges with the physical stimulation required to promote healthy and active pursuits; (ref. SDC Active Communities Strategy 2013-2018).
Be 'in keeping' with the existing environment
To provide an improved aesthetic and natural appeal KOMPAN featured the Robinia or hardwood Agility Trail items. The Trail items proposed are individual components designed in a format to encourage competition Are interlinked with stepping pods and balance posts Allow flexibility to adjust the distances of the items to cater for different stride patterns for the different age ranges and vary the degree of challenge This flexibility also helps to create a linear footprint Ensure items are away from the residential properties Allow continued unhindered use of the existing mini goal post.