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5) Siting new play equipment

Two children making notes in a parkDuring your visit decide where to place the play equipment. If there is an existing play area, is it in the most appropriate place? If not, students could look for alternative practical locations, explaining why these would be more suitable.

If there has never been a play area, students could survey the park seeking a suitable location, justifying their choice. Factors to consider are:

  • Shelter against a prevailing wind.
  • Collection of surface water.
  • Too much shade which can lead to damp and a build up of moss and sap deposits.
  • Different ground levels – flat, raised or sunken – around which new play equipment could be designed.
  • Proximity to a café or toilets.
  • Proximity to parking areas.
  • Access for vehicles – especially disabled groups and maintenance vehicles.

What other facilities need to be installed nearby for the benefit of children, parents and park staff? Things to consider might be:

  • Picnic benches (seating at different levels for children of different ages and heights)
  • Seating
  • Shelter
  • Cycle security
  • Litter bins (consider need for recycling)
  • Storage of equipment for park staff to maintain and clean the play area