Lytham St Anne’s is a seaside resort on the Fylde coast in Lancashire. In 2003 a community group, Park View 4U was formed with the aim of providing children with some decent play facilities on the Park View Playing Fields. Since then they have vastly transformed the provision at the park with, amongst other things, a BMX track, a MUGA, a café and community centre and a teen zone. They have recently significantly enhanced the play facilities with a new sand and water play area.
The tender was won by William Pye Ltd, Civil Engineers who appointed Dean Blackhurst from Relandscape to create the designs for play. The designs included several features selected to reference the town’s unique heritage and the beach, sea and dunes. Windmills are a key feature of the coastline across Fylde, so a six fan windmill is a key focal point, located in a mound as a landmark.
The Granny’s Bay area has been created to celebrate the popular area of Lytham beach where Lady Clifton took her grandchildren to play. This retained an existing play element and enhanced the provision with a Cradle Nest Swing.
There is one remaining shrimper operating from Lytham, Russell Wignall, and the strong shrimping heritage of the town has been referenced with its own Play Shrimper, built into the west boundary of the play area. This Richter Spielgeräte boat includes platforms, slide and rope bridges. This area also includes a sand play area with building site and excavator.
The waterways that feed into the Irish Sea at Lytham were the inspiration for the educational and extensive waterplay network, comprising pumps, channels, mill wheels, big bucket wheel, an Archimedes screw, flaps and dams.
Dean Blackhurst, Landscape Designer at ReLandscape comments: “The brief for the Park View Sand and Water Play Area was to deliver a range of exciting, stimulating and educational play and learning experiences and an inclusive, high quality landscape. ReLandscape has delivered an imaginative and educational play space that draws on the heritage and natural assets unique to Lytham. The design has been created around a series of character areas which tell stories about: the beach, the sea and the sand dune; the River Ribble; the Lytham Shrimper; and windmills and cobbles.”