East Lothian Council put a tender out for a play area in Prestonpans. The requirement was for a playground made with natural components, with separate play zones for toddlers, older children, seating, picnic areas and space for community events. Jupiter Play decided to bid as the company was confident that their timber range (supplied by FHS Holtztechnik) would perfectly suit the brief.
The client had a specific idea about materials – Robinia timber to achieve a natural feel that blends well with the natural features of the site and robust enough to withstand the challenges associated with a secluded site with no informal supervision from overlooking houses and neighbours. The client asked for wood chip for the safety surface, which Jupiter Play agreed with as it is cost effective and complements Robinia wood well.
The site was quite challenging as there was a mixture of ground conditions to take into account. There were spaces remaining after the removal of previous playground equipment that were filled with spoil. A large expanse of tarmac had to be retained and incorporated into the design. The remainder of the site had very undulating grass areas surrounded by sloping hills lined with trees.
One of the key aspects of this project was that there were two stakeholders involved: our client (East Lothian Council) and the community group (Friends of Cuthill Park), both with very specific ideas of the park they wanted for the neighbourhood. An example of this was the teen shelter.
Jupiter Play aims to avoid destroying the natural landscape of project sites and respects that as much as possible.
To overcome the challenge with the ground, Jupiter utilised the remaining grass areas to install equipment for the older age group. This was seen as a good solution by the client, who really liked the idea of respecting the natural contours of the landscape. Also some excavation on the ground was required to accommodate the wood chip safer surfacing to the correct depth.
Equipment was chosen from Jupiter's range that best followed the natural feel of the landscape. Units like the Charles Dickens, which incorporates ropes and fixed platforms, give children different play experiences and can follow the existing contours of the area.
Jupiter Play commented:
"We’re delighted to see that once again our timber range – FHS Holtztechnik - complements the natural surroundings. It also makes us proud to carry out projects that respect and enhance the natural environment as much as possible."
The park is not only for children, it’s for the whole family and community. Apart from the diverse selection of equipment that children have to play with, there are also picnic benches and plenty of space for adults to sit and relax, making the perfect space for a family day out. There is also plenty space for community events to take place alongside the play area.
Carol Snedoon and Jan Barker, from the Friends of Cuthill Community Group said: “We are really happy with the way Jupiter Play interpreted our brief and carried out the installation. The play equipment was installed quickly and we were pleased with the solutions that Jupiter Play came up with. It’s lovely to see families driving from all over Prestonpans to bring their children, and the ones living closest have been going daily over the Easter holidays. We would definitely recommend Jupiter Play to other community groups”.
The Community Group Twitter page comments read “loving the new park so does my niece. Great to see so many people using it”, “A park alive with children and parents 6:45 on spring evening” “FINISHED! Check out your GORGEOUS new play park”.
All this really makes every second of our work worth it.