Case Study: Sandford Holiday Park, Dorset – Parkdean Holiday Parks

Sandford Holiday Park, Dorset – Parkdean Holiday Parks

The play area development at Sandford was part of a wider contract of £200,000 across a number of Parkdean holiday parks. The requirement at this particular space was a park that incorporated a bespoke element in keeping with some of the surrounding natural features, alongside challenging equipment that differentiated depending on age and ability.

The space had two distinct areas; one consisting of an open area which could be easily supervised by nearby holiday homes, however there was still a requirement for fencing due to the close proximity of a car park. This section proved to be ideal for younger children in terms of its location and therefore the equipment chosen catered for the most basic of challenges, yet focused on the key experiences of swinging, rocking and sliding. Interspersed around this were opportunities for children to take further risks through climbing, balancing and negotiating movable rope walks. Most of the equipment selected allowed for social development due to its ability to cater for multi users. Children of various ages could also mix and play freely within this space. Wood chippings were used as a safer surface in keeping with the woodland location.

The second area met the brief with specific reference to the natural features within which it was located. ‘The Jungle House’ was born out of this and positioned within a cluster of trees. As children negotiated their way through the primary area in their imaginative and exploratory role plays, they would then encounter the Jungle House hidden away amongst the trees. This provided them with the reward of a secret tree house with ropework, netting and a bamboo roof. A tunnel slide provided the descent that would be enjoyed by the older users but also providing a sufficient new challenge to the younger ones.

This area gave clear ownership to the children it has become their place socially and as another dimension to their imaginative play experiences. Whether under, in or around the Jungle House, this has proved to be a very successful element to this natural play.

Since the installation of the jungle house we were requested by Parkdean to add additional play areas to Sandford Holiday park, this included an imaginative play theme of a shipwrecked climbing unit.