(Compiled by A. Osbourne – Chair Therfield Parish Council)
Order of contents:
- Reasoning for project
- Current play park equipment
- Consultations regarding current and potentially new equipment
- Findings from interviews and consultations
- Suggestions from children on new equipment
- Costings/Quotes for selective pieces of new equipment
Reasoning for project plan
During the course of 2021 the council fielded several enquiries from families in the village asking if new equipment could be obtained for the play park. The council agreed to look at the various possible additions that could be made (subject to budget availability) Andy Osbourne took the action from the parish council meeting of 13th July 2021 to compose the project plan.
The current play park equipment comprises:
- A “wobbly wood” obstacle course with various monkey bars with swing and balancing logs ending with a climbing rope area.
- A zip wire – which runs almost the full length of the play park
- A roundabout – which currently needs servicing.
- A saucer swing together with conventional swings
- A small sprung seesaw.
- A walk-bridge with a small slide and rope climb.
Consultations regarding current and potential new equipment
- Initial interviews were done at the play park during July and August to try to obtain views from parents and children actually using the park.
- Views were taken from my own children (parents) and grandchildren who have used the play park on many occasions
- A visit was also made to Therfield First School were I met delegates from each year – spanning age ranges 4,5,6,7,8 and 9. A very interesting conversation with the children who all had pretty specific views on play park equipment. They were shown photos of the existing equipment and also pictures from catalogues on new equipment.
Findings from interviews and consultations:
- Below are the rankings for the current equipment rated in order of most use:
- By far the most popular item rated top by nearly all age groups was the zip wire….used even by 4 and 5 year olds! (and obviously quite a number of adults!!)
- The roundabout also seems to be popular with most ages up to 9/10 year olds. The fact that it can hold 4 or 5 children at once is a big plus point.
- The swings were also a popular item – with the saucer swing fractionally more popular than the conventional swings;
- The walk-bridge with slide and rope climb was used primarily by the younger age groups – but was used by most when visiting the park.
- The sprung seesaw was mainly used by younger children but was still an item they would like to see kept.
- The least used equipment by nearly all age groups was the wobbly wood section which incorporates the monkey bars and balance pieces of equipment.
Suggestions from children on new equipment
In addition to requesting views on the equipment they like, and/or use less, they were also asked what new pieces of equipment they would like to see based on other play parks they have visited or equipment they have seen elsewhere.
They would like a bigger slide (whether it is on its own or part of a bigger structure – like a pirate ship or an aeroplane fuselage !!)
They also mentioned a piece of equipment which most of them had played on at Shepreth Wildlife Park – this is called a Hurricane Swing. This seemed to be a big favourite!
Another favourite (with both younger children, older children and even adults!) was a ground level trampoline (basically built into the ground so the trampoline skin is at ground level)
Costings/quotes for selective pieces of new equipment:
One of the larger suppliers of play park equipment in the UK is a company called Wicksteed. They have provided the following prices for some of the suggested new equipment suggested by the children.
- As the roundabout is one of the more frequently used pieces of equipment, a repair should be organised as soon as possible.
- Most of the children interviewed would like new equipment in there….so cost and potential grant money should be investigated.
- A.Osbourne to apply to various organisations for potential funding.
- Parish Council to possibly consider fund-raising options?
- Apply for S106 monies