Bowles and Wyer complete Royal Parks playground

Bowles and Wyer's Marylebone Green Playground in London opened to the public on 24 July.

This is the second playground commission from The Royal Parks and the contract follows on from the company’s refurbishment of the playground at Greenwich Park in 2012.

The Marylebone playground is one of four in The Regents Park and one that The Royal Parks felt could be improved to provide a range of play features allowing more creative play and engaging more children at any one time.

Bowles & Wyer Contracts has worked with landscape architect Noel Farrer of Farrer Huxley Associates who has created a masterplan for the site.  The design concept sees the playground split into three zones: a Traditional Play Zone; an Art Play Zone which features a bespoke spiral folly made from 4.5-metre high rendered brick walls; and a Natural Play Zone where logs and boulders are sited with a sculptural natural willow tunnel, shaped to mimic the trunk of a tree.

Recycling and reuse has been tackled by refurbishment and adaption of many items of the original play equipment.

One of the design highlights of the playground is a sculptural climbing frame which was created from a giant Caucasian Elm (Zelkova carpinifolia) which came down in The Regents Park’s Inner Circle in high winds in winter 2012/13..  The 10-metre trunk of the tree, weighing about 12-tonnes, is now sited in its new form in the Natural Play Zone.

Other work undertaken by the company comprised the building of new paths and entrance gates and the planting of new shrubs and trees, including an entrance of 12 box pleached Limes, around the play zones.

Bowles & Wyer Contracts has also built school gardens and playgrounds at St Paul Cathedral School, Rokeby Prep School and Eton College.

MD Dan Riddleston said: "We are thrilled to have been commissioned by The Royal Park again to work on such a prestigious and well-loved London park.  It has been a challenge and a pleasure to be involved in the refurbishment of Marylebone Green Playground. I am particularly delighted to see the spectacular Spiral Folly come to life in the Art Play Zone having worked closely with Noel Farrer to realise the most exciting and cost effective solution."

The playground, which lies in the southern section of The Regent's Park within the borough of Westminster, is bordered by the Nash Terraces on the Outer Circle and the Avenue Gardens to the east.

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