A new vision for Gt Shelford Rec

Take a stroll through Tom’s Midnight Garden, clamber around the restless landscape, relax with a picnic and watch cricket in the Victorian garden and find your wild side down by the river!

Proposed new playground area sketch

We are delighted to present here Erect Architecture’s proposed draft master plan for the rec. It has been designed in response to the extensive initial consultations that Playscape undertook over eight months and looks in broad terms at how the space we have can be used most practically and effectively for all users of the rec.


The draft master plan document also gives an impression of the proposed overall design style, however each area will be designed in detail as and when the bigger picture has been agreed and everyone has had their say. We will consult at each stage of the design.

In essence the draft plan looks at subtly re-zoning the space we have: the play area is shifted towards the car park, the skating provision is welcomed into this new area, new storage solutions allow the space around the pavilion to be used for spectating and socialising, access is improved and the riverside is enhanced.

Proposed areas of the Draft Master Plan

The design follows Best Practice principles for play provision, specifically the use of natural elements and an inclusive approach allowing people of all abilities and ages to play together.

Play and skate area

Proposed new playground area sketch

Proposed new playground area plan

  • Relocated play area with rolling, playable landscape with natural features and a blend of new and old favourite equipment.
  • It seems the village has a soft spot for the red horse, we will find a new home for him on the Rec!
  • Integrated and improved skate park.
  • Boundaries created through planting and landscaping, more trees for shade.
  • Safer distance from the cricket boundary.
  • New, safer pedestrian entrance with drop down bollards for improved occasional vehicular access to the rec.
  • Number of car parking spaces increased by use of current skate ramp location.

New picnic area

Proposed new ball & picnic area sketch

  • New basketball and football area with practice goal and hoop.
  • New spectator and picnic area with integrated cricket cover stores.

Down by the river

Proposed wild tree structure and swans nest

Wild play area by the river, including more challenging tree-like climbing structure, a “swan’s nest” jutting out on to the river and paths and den building opportunities through the copse.


This vision would require some storage relocation (e.g. Feast storage and football nets) to open up the space around the pavilion and provide new car parking. The feast have been consulted about a new setup location for their tent (the other side of pedestrian path). This would keep access to the rec free throughout the feast week and allow the feast more flexibility in their setup. In principle the Feast committee are happy but it would require a new power and water supply to be built.


Commissioning the master plan allows us to consider how to use the space we have most effectively, but it is a long-term plan. To realise this big vision, it will have to be done in phases and in partnership with different partners in the village. Great Shelford Playscape are concentrating on raising funds primarily for the play area and the skate ramp.

See all the plans in detail here or download the Draft Master Plan Taster document.

We would love to hear your views, contact us here.

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