Harwoods Adventurous Playground on Vicarage Road marks the completion of Watford Borough Council’s £1.4million investment in bespoke adventurous play. This site offers all-year-round play opportunities for young people and their families to enjoy together. The playground also offers sensory play equipment with some panels reflecting light and others producing music and sound effects.
Watford awarded Southern Green Landscape Architects the project to develop a unique and inspiring play space for the local community. Jupiter Play was contracted to bring the vision to life using its bespoke capabilities and timber materials.
A bespoke unit showcases the organic theme and complements the natural shape of the timber and the existing landscape. Southern Green Landscape and Jupiter designers maintained this natural flow by avoiding the use of large man-made structures which helped to limit the visual impact on the surrounding landforms.
Adding to the play value, the design also incorporates multiple play structures at varying levels around the feature unit. These include: a toddler multi-play unit; stepping stilts; agility course; climbing nets; play boulders; playhouses; climbing entrance structure; and more.
Key features of the playground include: a new double zip wire; play tower with mid-air tunnel; slide; and climbing wall. The bespoke unit can be accessed via a wibbly wobbly bridge to enhance sensory play for mobility aid users. The bespoke unit is roofed with special panels that reflect light in different colours.
There is equipment which generates music and sounds to create a sensory experience that all can explore. Inclusive Play and their PiPA tool fully assessed the playground to ensure it can be enjoyed by children of all abilities.
“There are loads of rides. I like the big slide best because it’s really long. But I don’t feel scared – just a bit nervous as I come out of the end into all the sand. I got a bit messy, but I am OK now.”
- Harry Young, aged 8
The playground features some of the most exciting, state-of-the-art outdoor play equipment for 5-15 year olds in the country. The local community gave a big thumbs up during the opening day as they tried it out for the first time.