St Richards Open Space
Case Study Larkfield
Adur and Worthing Councils
11th December 2023
21st January 2023
Adur and Worthing Council and eibe Play share a fantastic relationship and have previously worked on various play spaces across Worthing, including Tarring Park and Gull Island. The play area is located right next to a primary school and surrounded by residential streets, so it is a popular destination for the local community. Families frequently use the fields surrounding the play area for picnics, dogwalkers and community events. The design brief from the council was to ensure the play areawas accessible for all and to include play features for children aged 2-12 years old. Due to the extremely high water table on site, the council also wanted to ensure that the play area was accessible all year round. They also wanted to ensure easy access for prams and wheelchairs throughout the play space. Due to the play areas’ extreme proximity to the seafront, eibe Play chose to go with a sea theme throughout. They also took elements of their existing catalogue and adapted them to fit the play space’s theme. For example, specific play panels and slides were manufactured to be blue to help support this theme. The pathway leading to the play space was also given a makeover, with a brand new wet pour surface leading from one gate to another. When designing the play space, eibe Play wanted to include the right amount of play value and features for children of all ages. For example, toddlers need to discover and test themselves on a climbing unit that offers them various play opportunities, such as climbing and sliding. This, in some instances, will be their first experience of climbing and sliding, therefore developing essential skills such as lower and upper body coordination. For this, we chose our Play Unit K2, which we dressed up to resemble a seaside cottage. Once they grow older and want to develop their skills further, they can move on to our adapted Climbing Unit, Ben Nevis, which has various challenging crossings and ways to get off and onto the unit. It also has an excellent and unique Broad Slide. The Ben Nevis is designed for children aged 5 to 12 years. Surrounding these fantastic items, eibe Play chose various other challenging and fun play options such as the Stand Up Carousel, Fisher Rockers, Snake Swing and multiple swings. Eibe Play needed to design this space as inclusive as possible. To help aid this already fully accessible play space, eibe Play included their brand new Wheelchair Seesaw. This, as well as the Broad Slide, various sea-themed play panels and the eibe Nest Swing seat, eibe Play believe they have chosen the right amount of play equipment that makes this play space accessible for all.
As previously mentioned, the play area’s safer surfacing has been designed to ensure it’s fully accessible all year round. This was a significant part of their design thinking process. The design includes an entire wet pour surface laid over the existing surfacing in most areas. This allows us to provide an environmentally friendly option, as there will be no to take materials off-site for refuge. This follows eibe Plays, environmentally green ethos. After the council went through a consultation stage with the local community,eibe Play was privileged to be awarded the play area refurbishment contract. They quickly engaged with the council o refine the play equipment chosen, and after a couple of minor amendments, the manufacturing of the equipment commenced. The play area was opened by the council in time to be enjoyed by the children over a gloriously sunny winter’s weekend, and the initial feedback we have received has been very positive. eibe Play hope that Larkfield Play Area will be loved and well used by local children for years to come!
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