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