Sector Public realm
Project type New build
Services provided Design
Product / system manufacture
Project management
Installation
Year completed 2014
Project location South West England
 
 

Angel Ridge play area is situated on the site of the first NHS hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, which has now been redeveloped as a residential housing site. Swindon Council had the task of creating a challenging and exciting play area that referenced the rich heritage of the site, keeping the local residents on side and also improving links with the surrounding communities.

Angel Ridge is a linear development, situated along a ridge, hence the name. When embarking on research for the site, Swindon Council Landscape Architect, Andrew Norris found that the bones of an Ichthyosaur (marine dinosaur) were discovered nearby, which then went on to find fame on Blue Peter. This pre-historic relic inspired the use of fossils throughout the site, with hidden replica fossils secreted in the sand area and a giant ammonite heralding the start of the play site.


As Swindon Borough Council had previously not had any public park schemes that used extensive sand and water play there was some apprehension to the inclusion of these features. Fortunately these were overcome and the beautifully landscaped site now has extensive sand and a meandering play stream, with a Mushroom Spring Pump at its head, Horizontal Mill Wheel and Dam, Wedge and Water Flap.


Different compartments of play have been thoughtfully designed, creating distinct areas which children can move between using various playful elements, for example, play gates and a Suspension Bridge.
Angel Ridge has been so sensitively developed, with the site’s natural treasures being used effectively throughout the design, for example, the stones unearthed during the development, which included a Jurassic era fossilised oyster bed. These stones were placed carefully at the termination point of the interactive play stream, serving as an important connection to the theme.


Alongside the sand and the water, play gravel has also been used, providing another great playable safety surface particularly when combined with transportation elements, shovel and chain.
One of the key features of the site is the weighty Turning Stone, a huge 5 tonne boulder which even small children can easily rotate. This is personalised with an inscription, a poem by Jane Evans that summed up the overarching themes of the scheme:-
“Up here,
Nudging the sky,
You're no more
Than a pinprick
On the timeline
Stretched taut
By lynchet and tumulus
And the tremendous
Secrets of the rock
Time out of mind
Under turf and furz”

Andrew Norris comments on this outstanding scheme:-
“I first came across Richter products when I worked in Germany as a teenager and even then they stood out to me as some of the most attractive play equipment I had ever seen. Working so closely with the residents and taking note of their concerns, I felt it was very important to create something that harmonised with the natural surroundings and was delighted to work with Timberplay to pull together the perfect combination of equipment. The scheme has been a great success and is very well used at all times of the day. Young children bring their own buckets and spades to make the most of the sand and the gravel play and after school the site is hugely enjoyed by older children. Working with Timberplay has been brilliant, they have been the perfect partner to understand the aspirations of the scheme and help me meet and exceed expectations”
The Angel Ridge scheme was installed by Blakedown Landscapes (Operations)


Angel Ridge play area is situated on the site of the first NHS hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, which has now been redeveloped as a residential housing site. Swindon Council had the task of creating a challenging and exciting play area that referenced the rich heritage of the site, keeping the local residents on side and also improving links with the surrounding communities.

Angel Ridge is a linear development, situated along a ridge, hence the name. When embarking on research for the site, Swindon Council Landscape Architect, Andrew Norris found that the bones of an Ichthyosaur (marine dinosaur) were discovered nearby, which then went on to find fame on Blue Peter. This pre-historic relic inspired the use of fossils throughout the site, with hidden replica fossils secreted in the sand area and a giant ammonite heralding the start of the play site.


As Swindon Borough Council had previously not had any public park schemes that used extensive sand and water play there was some apprehension to the inclusion of these features. Fortunately these were overcome and the beautifully landscaped site now has extensive sand and a meandering play stream, with a Mushroom Spring Pump at its head, Horizontal Mill Wheel and Dam, Wedge and Water Flap.


Different compartments of play have been thoughtfully designed, creating distinct areas which children can move between using various playful elements, for example, play gates and a Suspension Bridge.
Angel Ridge has been so sensitively developed, with the site’s natural treasures being used effectively throughout the design, for example, the stones unearthed during the development, which included a Jurassic era fossilised oyster bed. These stones were placed carefully at the termination point of the interactive play stream, serving as an important connection to the theme.


Alongside the sand and the water, play gravel has also been used, providing another great playable safety surface particularly when combined with transportation elements, shovel and chain.
One of the key features of the site is the weighty Turning Stone, a huge 5 tonne boulder which even small children can easily rotate. This is personalised with an inscription, a poem by Jane Evans that summed up the overarching themes of the scheme:-
“Up here,
Nudging the sky,
You're no more
Than a pinprick
On the timeline
Stretched taut
By lynchet and tumulus
And the tremendous
Secrets of the rock
Time out of mind
Under turf and furz”

Andrew Norris comments on this outstanding scheme:-
“I first came across Richter products when I worked in Germany as a teenager and even then they stood out to me as some of the most attractive play equipment I had ever seen. Working so closely with the residents and taking note of their concerns, I felt it was very important to create something that harmonised with the natural surroundings and was delighted to work with Timberplay to pull together the perfect combination of equipment. The scheme has been a great success and is very well used at all times of the day. Young children bring their own buckets and spades to make the most of the sand and the gravel play and after school the site is hugely enjoyed by older children. Working with Timberplay has been brilliant, they have been the perfect partner to understand the aspirations of the scheme and help me meet and exceed expectations”
The Angel Ridge scheme was installed by Blakedown Landscapes (Operations)


Interested in this project?
Call 0114 282 3474
OR
 
 
 
Enquire
 


Related entries

  • Timberplay: Richter Spielgerate Mushroom Pump for water play
    Richter Spielgerate Mushroom Pump for water play
    Timberplay
    The well designed Mushroom Spring gives off water when the hemisphere on top gets pressed down. The water comes out like a circular veil. When the hemisphere is pressed once, a valve is activated which stops the water flow...
  • Timberplay: Richter Spielgerate Dam for water play
    Richter Spielgerate Dam for water play
    Timberplay
    Water play installations become even more attractive when they help to experience water in different ways. Children particularly enjoy damming water. On one hand, they are momentarily the 'Master' of the water when stemming...
  • Timberplay: Richter Spielgerate Water Flap for water play
    Richter Spielgerate Water Flap for water play
    Timberplay
    Water play installations become even more attractive when they help to experience water in different ways. Children particularly enjoy damming water. On one hand, they are momentarily the 'Master' of the water when stemming...
  • Timberplay: Richter Spielgerate Damming Wedge for water play
    Richter Spielgerate Damming Wedge for water play
    Timberplay
    Water play installations become even more attractive when they help to experience water in different ways. Children particularly enjoy damming water. On one hand, they are momentarily the 'Master' of the water when stemming...
Not found what you're looking for? View other options

Ask Timberplay about

Angel Ridge Play Area