King’s Meadow, Wallingford

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An old fashioned play area was given an extensive makeover thanks to the efforts of parish councillors working with Hand Made Places.
A consultation carried out by Brightwell-cum-Sotwell Parish Council identified considerable room for improvement at the play area on the Oxfordshire village’s King’s Meadow.
After securing grants from recycling fund Wren, South Oxfordshire District Council and the National Lottery, a new toddler play area and a Trim Trail for older children were created.
The play areas were finished with rubber mulch surfacing and timber furniture for families to enjoy picnics.
In the toddler area, a Balksbury Play Unit took centre stage. The play tower features a range of equipment to encourage children to get active. This includes a climbing wall, scramble net, slide and bridge.
No playground is complete without a set of swings and this toddler area was equipped with a double cradle swing, perfect for little ones.
It was also important for the parish council to create inclusive opportunities so all children could have fun, make new friends and enjoy time outdoors.
A Play Boat was installed to support imaginative play along with a Puppet Theatre. These popular pieces of equipment allow children to immerse themselves in a world of let’s pretend, whatever their ability.
Bound rubber mulch surfacing in a brown/green mix kept the landscape looking natural while making it suitable for wheelchair users and parents and carers with pushchairs.
The adventure area for older children was split into two parts. A Trim Trail was created made up of a series of challenging equipment designed to help young people hone skills and burn off energy.
This included the Swing Steps, tasking users with fine tuning their coordination as they cross, and the Wobble Board, testing balance.
The Cross Over presented a rope challenge along with the Zig Zag, while the Trapeze Rings added a new element of physical play to test the upper body.
To complete the course a Hawkley Trail was installed, made up of stepping stones and balance beams.
The fun continued in a second zone, in an adjacent grassed area which was finished with grass matting to protect the ground. This play area included a number of bespoke items such as a play mound with crawl tunnel and pull up rope, gravity bowl, embankment net and aerial zip slide for different sensory experiences.
Finally a Fireball was installed on the basketball courts to complete the £71,000 playground design.

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Wallingford, Oxfordshire

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