westley design | inclusive landscape architecture

Daglands Park Play Pathfinder

Play landscape design

The challenge

We were appointed under the Play Pathfinder project, by Bath and North East Somerset District Council as their designers for play space development within six existing run down parks. The challenge was to design play landscapes focussed on 8-13 year olds (but also involving inclusive provision for children in older and younger categories). The key elements of the project brief were natural play and inclusion of opportunity for disabled stakeholders. A further challenge was the project program which required consultation with six sets of local stakeholders, design and implementation management of all six projects over a period of just 6 months. Daglands Park comprised two paddock sized fields on the edge of a small rural community, with aging timber play equipment and an informal, grass kick-about area. Despite adjoining hoses the site was fairly hidden and was not felt to be a safe place.

What we did

Westley Design worked with Mor Design and Bath Area Play Project and Wansdyke Play Association play rangers to facilitate consultation sessions with local people. We responded to the feedback from these sessions and the design brief from the client (Bath and North East Somerset District Council and District and Town Councils) to produce first, a Conceptual Play Strategy, then an Outline Proposal and finally a Play Masterplan for each of the six parks working with timber designer-makers Touchwood Enterprises.  At Daglands our response was to evoke a greater sense of pride and arrival by creating a sculpture gateway space and helter/seating areas, improve circulation paths &  football pitch, through resurfacing and furnishing with profiled bank seating and sculpture seating, refurbish and develop existing timber play equipment including provision of a zip-slide and inclusive play equipment, enhance exiting BMX provision, provide shade and natural play through installation of an orchard maze and native planting on banks and improve security though Solar lighting installation.

The result

Our consultations with the community were effectively focussed into the successively resolved proposals, which were successfully presented to the community and received their endorsement. The schemes is now being developed into a detailed proposal with our project partners Touchwood Enterprises. The plan is to continue community involvement throughout the project implementation phase, through on-site public design and making workshops, developed in a close working relationship with skilled bespoke play design-makers. The plan is to implement the six play landscapes on site by spring 2009.

play concept planpriority planningplay masterplan

All material © Westley Design 2008