We sprinted into this running track themed play area in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, where a Daily Mile Track has become the main event. Installed around the perimeter of the school field beside the netball courts and around the football pitches, this simple feature offers children new exercise and play opportunities whatever the weather.
Get games back on track
High Beeches Primary School had been investigating ways to get their pupils up and moving in the fresh air. They approached us and asked if we had a sporty solution in our kit bag, which could further enhance their grassy sports field. We kicked off the conversation by recommending an all-weather Daily Mile Track. The school had ample space in which we could wind the track in and around their grounds. It could become a focus for PE lessons, and also for riding scooters and bicycles. Some practical considerations would have to be factored into our design, including isolated drainage issues and the school’s desire to have direct access to the track from the school playground. Muddy boots were a no-no.
Race to the finish line
Practical construction features were addressed as a priority, and underpinning this Daily Mile Track design would be a stone sub-base. This stoney foundation must be penciled in beneath the entire track in order to mitigate the potential for flooding and puddles. Our favoured surface for this new track was a rubber and aggregate mix, which would be smooth and offer helpings of give. Our recommended surface would be harder-wearing than rubber mulch, and wouldn’t expand and contract like a wet pour material would.
Miles of exercise ahead
Presenting a well-drained and robust, all-weather Daily Mile Track to this fabulous school was a memorable moment. Children have adopted their new running track with boundless enthusiasm, and – just as the school hoped – many laps are made of the track every week; be it on feet, two wheels or scooters. The school has a new exercise facility that can be used all year round, and accessed directly from the tarmac playground to bypass the mud.