Green Flag status Woodford Park is located in the centre of Woodley and provides a diverse range of facilities for residents and visitors of all ages. The one missing piece that would truly make this space memorable was the refurbishment of the play equipment. Therefore, Woodley Town Council was delighted to announce a long-awaited creation of a new ‘destination’ play area project for Woodford Park, catering to all ages and abilities. Following a successful public consultation with residents with over 700 responses, Proludic was selected from several tendering contractors to deliver this exciting project.
This first-class play area was funded by £200,000 of developers’ contributions via Wokingham Borough Council, with £57,000 additional funding from Woodley Town Council. Additionally. Proludic offset the 31.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide this play area produced during the manufacturing and installation process against other renewable projects.
Proludic’s Area Manager for the South-East, Tim Bird, worked closely with the Design department to create a play equipment design that enabled all users to experience the thrill of playing at different heights. A ramp (compliant with The Equalities Act 2010) takes users to various play features including a double-width inclusive slide. A Kanopé play unit with 1.77-meter decks provides a challenging experience for juniors, while a giant 7-meter Kanopé unit caters to older children with an exciting net climber and twisting spiral tube slide to deliver that all-important ‘wow factor’ every destination site must deliver.
The new play area replaces the old one at the rear of the Oakwood Centre. It has been designed specifically with ‘inclusivity’ in mind and will offer a stimulating, exciting play experience for children of all abilities. The inclusive jeep (J952) offers easy access for those in wheelchairs as does the roundabout installed (J2409) while a sensory trail is a great social and learning experience for all offering tactile, musical and problem-solving play solutions.
Kevin Murray, Deputy Town Clerk for Woodley Town Council summed up the new play space by saying “We are delighted to be able to add something of such high quality, that brings even more pleasure to the people of Woodley. We’ve got something for all ages, again the inclusivity element is in there for all the kids, particularly with the younger play area so yes, it ticks all of our boxes.”
In total there are 46 pieces of play equipment on the location with 11 that are designed with inclusivity in mind. The play area can cater to up to 160 children playing at any one-time offering 120 different play values that children can immerse themselves within. The site also includes many design features to accommodate users with limited mobility, such as thermoplastic markings to guide them to the site via a smooth path and a wheelchair-inclusive timber agility trail.
The outdoor play space is split into three zones that cater to different age groups. The Tree Tops area was designed for Juniors and teenagers to enjoy whereas the Wild Woods mainly caters to toddlers and juniors. The trim trail is extensive with 7 pieces of equipment from the Origin’, natural wood Robinia range, stretched out over a 35-meter distance.