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Ron Groves Playground, Kidlington
- Location: Kidlington, Oxfordshire
- Value: £96,000
- Key needs: a wider range of traditional and developmental play values, wider and more differentiated age provision and a natural aesthetic to complement the environment.
"We are very happy customers" Cllr David Robey, Chairman of Kidlington Council
Kidlington Parish Council’s vision was to update Ron Groves Playground so it had more stimulating and engaging play experiences and catered for a wider age range – previously, just a few toddler items had populated the site.
Our solution now means that local children aged up to 14 can improve their vestibular systems through swinging (younger children on the Lillie Kiddy Swing and older children on the Olympic Swing and Viper Swing); spinning (all ages on the Roty Inclusive Roundabout); and sliding (younger children on the embankment slide and older children on the UniPlay Bolanta’s slide).
Elsewhere, they can test their balance, strength and coordination by climbing and navigating (younger children on the Adventure Trail and older children on the UniPlay Bolanta); develop social skills by rocking face-to-face (all ages on the Vippy Seesaw); and enhance their problem solving, imaginative thinking and logical reasoning on the three play panels at the site.
On the new play area’s improved provision, Kidlington Parish Council clerk Rachel Faulkner said:
"Previously, the playground had limited play value and really only catered for toddlers and younger children. This new solution from HAGS has breathed new life into the space, with play experiences for children aged up to 14 and a wide variety for both younger and older children."
“We’re already seeing an increase in older local children engaging with the space since it opened.”
Meanwhile, a natural aesthetic was key as the council not only wanted the play area to complement the park that surrounds it but also wanted to ensure the revamped space was sympathetic to the nearby residents. To achieve this, HAGS proposed a natural colour palette of autumnal greens, browns and yellows on surfacing and equipment.
Maple leaf graphics in the play area’s central path perhaps best highlight the detailed design approach adopted to create that all important natural feel and provide an added nod to Maple Avenue, the road the play area sits next to. Alongside these, timber posts, panels and decks on the UniPlay Bolanta – the site’s centrepiece attraction – reflect the trees that sit along the play area’s southern edge.
Rachel Faulkner added:
“We felt that a natural aesthetic was incredibly important with the play area being where it is and the solution HAGS provided gave us just what we had imagined.”
“The use of timber and muted colours means the play space blends perfectly into the surrounds and doesn’t disrupt the environment.”
The site now ultimately has a much better sense of flow, improving the developmental benefits of the play area for all ages.
A great example of this is in the central pathway. Although it is not a physical barrier between the toddler and junior equipment, it offers a natural divide that acts as a soft border and encourages younger children to begin challenging themselves as they get older without fear of going into a different zone.
In all, the new site provides Kidlington Parish Council with the play area they envisaged and delivers the local community a space in which to play safely together, with endless challenging play experiences.
- Kidlington, United Kingdom
- Year Completed
- Project Value
We believe play is one of the most transformative things humans do. It is essential for us to thrive. Our products enable and encourage everyone to be together and live more playful lives. This, in turn, promotes happier individuals and healthier communities.
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Play and Leisure Services Ltd