Case Study Canal Fields
Dacorum Borough Council
25th May 2022 Rob Cassidy
4th July 2022 Parks Officer 0144 2228853
The Borough of Dacorum is a local government district in Hertfordshire, England, that includes the towns of Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Tring, and Kings Langley. The district, formed in 1974, had a population of 137,799 in 2001. Its name was taken from the old hundred of Dacorum, which covered approximately the same area. It is the westernmost of Hertfordshire’s districts, bordered to the west by the Chiltern and Aylesbury Vale districts of Buckinghamshire. In early 2022 eibe Play was invited to tender for the refurbishment of Canal Fields Play Area, situated in the beautiful town of Berkhamsted. The previous play area had come to the end of its life, and the council wanted to create a play space that the whole town council could be proud of. Berkhamsted has a proud, rich history, so there were plenty of elements that eibe Play could tap into to add theming within our new play space. From the remains of Berkhamsted Castle, located close to the play space, The Grand Union Canal that runs right next to the play area, and the coal deliveries that used to be loaded onto the trains leaving Berkhamsted being transported across the country.
The local area’s history was essential to us when designing the new play space. We need to educate the local children about the town’s history while providing a fun-packed play space.
The play area has been designed for children between 2-12 years old, focusing on how we could also cater to children of all abilities. When creating any play space, you must include a variety of fun play values that promote risk and challenge.
Choosing items from our fantastic Paradiso Robinia range of equipment, we chose a range of play equipment that can offer various play opportunities for children of all ages. Such as our large Isa multi-play unit within a bark pit. This item blends into the surroundings and provides children with three main towers connected by challenging crossings, including a lovely green tunnel slide. This item will make the children feel like they are amongst the tree tops. Surrounding this multi-play units are a Junior Swing Frame and an Inclusive Floor Roundabout. The roundabout allows children of all abilities, including wheelchairs, to play together, and as it has been installed onto an artificial surface, it can be accessed all year round. Opposite the Play Unit Isa, we have included a large sand pit, which will add enormous play value to an already packed play area. The sand pit includes construction chains and buckets, whilst the local children will have great fun finding the dinosaur fossils. Further along from the sand pit, we have included our toddler play unit, which offers a variety of play values such as climbing and sliding, promoting critical development skills for children of a young age. Our Coal Train and tunnel is located next to it, designed to resemble the trains leaving Berkhamsted Station, transporting coal across the country.
Another fantastic point of this play space is that all the play equipment can be accessed via an all-weather path leading throughout the play space. This is an excellent addition as it allows access to all the play equipment all year round.
In the middle of the play space is our Play Mound, with sleeping theming to resemble the remains of Berkhamsted Castle. Kids will have great fun climbing the castle remains to the Stainless Steel Broad Slide, which provides a fun route back down again.
Around the mound, we have refurbished several existing play items, giving them a new lease of life. Our Climbing Tree Ema, Duck Spring Rockers, and Four Seater Seesaw are added. All of which will be a great hit with the children using the park and the local community. eibe Play opened the play area in early August 2022, opening it up to be used and loved by the children eagerly waiting patiently outside. We are very proud of this play space and look forward to working alongside Dacorum Borough Council to ensure this play space remains a hit for years to come.
Greatham Village Play Area - Greatham Parish Council / 38
Greatham Village Play Area - Greatham Parish Council / 39
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