We’d always aimed for a very special play space, but the sheer high volume of visitors since the Playscape’s opening has surpassed even our high hopes for it!
Given its popularity we know that the turfed areas are starting to look a little sad, but this is a hallmark of a successful playspace and the grass should bounce back with a bit of care and attention in the spring. Opting to invest in the large area of wetpour has meant that the play area as a whole has remained much more usable than in previous winters, which has benefitted all of our visitors. Our job is now to watch how the space is used, decipher any scope for improvement and identify ways to curate the space for continued enjoyment.
“Completion of a play space does not mark the end of the design cycle but the beginning of a new phase, one of continual review. A good play space evolves and is never finished. In a vibrant, living play space the manager keeps a close eye on how the space is used and looks for opportunities to introduce new elements.”
Design For Play: A guide do designing a successful play space, Play England Report
Garden Gang – seasonal tidy-up
Something that is naturally always changing is the planting and it’s time to give the perennials their winter cut back ready for new growth in the spring. If you could spare some time with some secateurs or shears please do contact me, I would be grateful for some help (expertise not required, guidance will be given)!
A great example of an ever-evolving play space has been the copse and the continued support from the SSYI to keep it maintained. Back in the October half-term we got together to install a new circular tree bench and refresh the bark chipping along the riverside walkway. We will give the willow dome its annual haircut during half-term hopefully and install some rather hefty cherry tree stumps that have been kindly donated to us for seating or balance practice.
The PC kindly earmarked £10k towards professional fees to get this next phase up and running. Next steps are to instruct a quantity surveyor to manage the tender process, appoint a specialist skating contractor, finalise the design, renew the planning permission (the wheelscape was granted permission under the master plan application, but this has now lapsed) and then apply for the large grants to build it.