PLACES for PLAY: Exhibition

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Readers' Comments

You can send your comments on this website and on the general issue of how to improve places for play, by filling in the form below, or by sending them by email to nbutler at Edited highlights may be published on this page.

We would like to expand this exhibition to include more discussion and debate on the critical issues affecting children's play, in particular illustrating good places for older children, and more good play spaces in the UK.

If you have photos that could be included we would like to hear from you. Please contact: nbutler at

Playground Design

By Paul Collings, Timberplay

The excitement of receiving an invitation to tender is all too often dissipated immediately upon reading it. The constraints placed within tenders often prevent the design of good play areas in favour of boring, identikit playgrounds with little imagination. Too many, are so busy listing the need to comply with various different standards and codes of good practice that they forget to talk about Play.

This approach puts a commercial drive into a "tick box approach", spending as little money as possible on design, a lot of effort and money on fancy graphics that catch the eye, and keeping the installation as simple as possible, so that as much value as possible can be kept in house.

In contrast, the best play areas that we have been involved in usually involve lengthy discussions between ourselves, landscape professionals (with an understanding of play) and passionate local people, both children and adults. The design is developed over a long period of time with high quality consultation and specialist works can be undertaken by subcontracting to specialist contractors.

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