HAGS helped Kidlington Parish Council to achieve their vision to update Ron Groves Playground to make it a more stimulating and engaging play experience for a wider age group.
Key needs: a wider range of traditional and developmental play values, wider and more differentiated age provision and a natural aesthetic to complement the environment.
HAGS' solution means that local children aged up to 14 can improve their vestibular systems through swinging (younger children on the Lillie Kiddy swing and older children on the Olympic and Viper swings); spinning (all ages on the Roty inclusive roundabout); and sliding (younger children on the embankment slide and older children on the UniPlay Bolanta’s slide).
Elsewhere, they can test their balance, strength and co-ordination by climbing and navigating (younger children on the Adventure Trail and older children on the UniPlay Bolanta); develop social skills by rocking face-to-face (all ages on the Vippy seesaw); and enhance their problem-solving, imaginative thinking and logical reasoning on the three play panels at the site.
A natural aesthetic was key as the Council not only wanted the play area to complement the park that surrounds it, but also wanted to ensure the revamped space was sympathetic to the nearby residents. To achieve this, HAGS proposed a natural colour palette of autumnal greens, browns and yellows on surfacing and equipment.
Maple leaf graphics in the play area’s central path highlight the detailed design approach adopted to create that all important natural feel and provide an added nod to Maple Avenue, the road the play area sits next to. Alongside these, timber posts, panels and decks on the UniPlay Bolanta – the site’s centrepiece attraction – reflect the trees that sit along the play area’s southern edge.
The site now ultimately has a much better sense of flow, improving the developmental benefits of the play area for all ages.
A great example of this is in the central pathway. Although it is not a physical barrier between the toddler and junior equipment, it offers a natural divide that acts as a soft border and encourages younger children to begin challenging themselves as they get older without fear of going into a different zone.
In all, the new site provides Kidlington Parish Council with the play area they envisaged and delivers the local community a space in which to play safely together, with endless challenging play experiences.
"Previously, the playground had limited play value and really only catered for toddlers and younger children. This new solution from HAGS has breathed new life into the space, with play experiences for children aged up to 14 and a wide variety for both younger and older children."
“We’re already seeing an increase in older local children engaging with the space since it opened.”
“We felt that a natural aesthetic was incredibly important with the play area being where it is and the solution HAGS provided gave us just what we had imagined.”
“The use of timber and muted colours means the play space blends perfectly into the surrounds and doesn’t disrupt the environment.”
– Rachel Faulkner, Kidlington Parish Council clerk
"We are very happy customers"
– Cllr David Robey, Chairman of Kidlington Council