Landscape contouring at heart of new Cambridge play area

The new play area at Upper Cambourne, Cambridge, has shown how landscaping can be used to boost play value and create an imaginative and exciting environment for play.

Upper Cambourne Play Area. Image: Supplied
Upper Cambourne Play Area. Image: Supplied

Designed by Randall Thorp Landscape Architects on behalf of their clients MCA with products from the Timberplay range, the Upper Cambourne play area has been created to serve as a community focal point for residents of the housing developments around the site.

The designers aimed to create an interesting landscape on what was initially a very flat site. Mounds and grass banks were created to add to the topography and create opportunities for hiding, rolling and clambering.

Products from Timberplay were used to create a waterplay area within a sculpted concrete feature, with a playground pump at its head, wooden gutters, water wheel and a ball valve. This has been situated alongside sand play so that children can experiment with both materials together.

A toddler area includes swinging horses and playhuts while a high-energy zip wire caters to teenagers and older children.

Stepping logs have been used up and down grass banks, along with fallen trees as balance bridges, whilst long grasses and wildflower planting create habitats for wildlife and add seasonal variations to the site. A stone circle promotes imaginative play or quiet reflection, and assorted seating throughout the site ensures parents can also find a spot to enjoy the play area.

Paul Collings, managing director at Timberplay, said: "Randall Thorp have succeeded in creating an exceptional community play space and the local children are very fortunate to have such a wonderful and varied play area on their doorstep.

"As well as world class equipment, the play area also includes an abundance of playful landscaping touches showcasing the creative flair of the designers."

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