New EYFS playground in Walkeringham includes play tunnel and outdoor shelter

Sometimes the smallest playground projects really do deliver the greatest gains for children. Let’s take this relatively simple tunnel and grassed mound design, in Walkeringham near Doncaster, for example. The expert Playscape team braved the harsh November weather to resurface this roadside space, installing places to crawl and play on an age-appropriate soft surface.

Walkeringham Playground

THE BRIEF

Before Playscape Playground began working on the new playground.

Operation reinvention

The school’s headteacher was desperate to reinvent an empty space within her grounds. She wanted to create an inviting landscape and boost play opportunities, while offering visual stimulation for young children. The area’s hodgepodge of tarmac and concrete, flanked by brick walls, had to go. But how could we improve the school’s curb appeal and transform a boring piece of land into a valuable play area?

THE DESIGN

All it takes is a grassy tunnel

We reached into our kit bag for pragmatic yet stimulating colours and features. Firstly, a brand-new surface would be needed, so we pitched the combination of a rubber surface with artificial grass on top. The rubber foundation would soften the blow of playground falls, while adding an extra layer of quality and longevity to the finished product. A grassed-over stone/timber tunnel and mound would become a focal point in the setting, and a timber role play hut could also be snuck into the space for added interest.    

THE RESULTS

Next, a new slide arrived 

This winter build has become a beautiful addition to the school’s play facilities, and is offering hours of imaginative play for youngsters. Little ones love to crawl under and climb over the tunnel mound, and happily immerse themselves in games at the role play shelter. Bumps and falls are softened by the hybrid rubber and grass surface. Just a few months later, the school’s head teacher reached out to us again to request a slide for the mound.  

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