The Association of Play Industries (API) is launching a new campaign – Pathway To Play – urging the next UK government to invest significantly in public playgrounds. With an alarming rise in childhood obesity, poor mental health and sleep issues, the #PathwayToPlay manifesto stresses the crucial role of outdoor play in promoting the health and wellbeing of children across the nation.

“We can no longer ignore the importance of play, physical activity and movement in improving children’s lives. Playgrounds are the number one, most popular location for outdoor play* and major government investment in them is long overdue.” says API Chair and child development expert Dr Amanda Gummer.

“It is time to prioritise the health and wellbeing of our children by ensuring they have the opportunity for everyday free-to-access outdoor play. We are calling for a relatively modest investment in government terms, but one which will have a hugely significant impact on children’s lives and families and will transform entire communities.


Public playgrounds play a pivotal role in facilitating outdoor play, yet they often suffer from underfunding and neglect. In light of this, API calls upon the next UK government to make the following commitments:

  • Conduct a National Audit: API urges the government to conduct a comprehensive national audit of public playgrounds, considering not only their quantity but also their quality and location.
  • Ensure Long-term Sustainability: It is imperative to ensure the long-term sustainability of public playgrounds by allocating dedicated government funding for the installation and maintenance of free-to-use community play spaces. This will guarantee that every child has access to safe, high- quality and local outdoor play.
  • Increase Physical Activity Levels at School: API advocates for increasing children’s physical activity levels through outdoor play at school. This can be achieved by integrating outdoor learning into the National Curriculum and providing government funding specifically for school outdoor play spaces and equipment.


We must work together to get children outdoors again, promoting their health, happiness, and overall wellbeing,” says Dr Gummer. “Every child deserves the right to play every day.”


The Association of Play Industries encourages all stakeholders, including policymakers, educators and parents, to support this crucial campaign and prioritise the wellbeing of children across the UK.

*away from the home setting


For media inquiries, please contact:
Dr Amanda Gummer, [email protected], 07968 327099
Mary Lubrano, [email protected], 07999 550452
About Association of Play Industries (API):
The Association of Play Industries (API) is the lead trade association for the UK play sector. Its membership comprises manufacturers, installers, designers, and distributors of both outdoor and indoor play equipment and safety surfacing. API represents the best interests of its members to the government, local authorities, schools and other organisations within the play sector. For more information, visit


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