King George V Park

Date completed: March 2010
Location: Plymouth
Sectors worked with:
  • Local Authority

King George’s Park was very old and limited in its play value and scope.  As part of the government’s Play Builder Programme, Plymouth City Council commissioned us to create a natural play space in line with their vision for more open-ended, nature inspired play that could meet children’s needs for physical exercise as well as creativity and imagination. It had to be a space that could accommodate all ages – from 3 to 13.

At the centre of the space we built a high tower which formed the centre piece, offering height and challenging climbing. Radiating out from there, log climbing, tangles, nets and ropes allow children to climb from the main tower to different smaller towers around the site. The entire structure was set in a big sand pit with with hoists and buckets and low level climbing structures for little ones.

Two bridges over the existing metal dog fence allow children to climb into the wider landscape of the park while still keeping dogs out. In that green space we placed a fallen tree for climbing on and a picnic seating area. Using native planting we created an attractive buffer between the busy road and the play spaces.

The park has been extremely well used over the years and has turned a neglected play area into a popular destination.

Hover over the images to learn more about the design.

To see an advert for how high-quality play provision can bring families together, come to King Georges Park. It is like an oasis in a desert.

I have seen children digging contentedly in the sand with their own buckets and spades and engrossed with the delights of the bucket pulley, mums breast feeding their babies under a beautiful shady tree, dads shouting encouragement to their offspring on the balancing ropes, grannies and granddads perched on log seating waiting for their charges to come and have a break on a picnic blanket and friends shrieking with delight as they share the net swing that goes really high. And the way that the children can enter the park, not just through the gate, but over the fence is a genius idea!

Please pass on my heartfelt respect and admiration to all those who must have the passion, vision and commitment to providing quality play for Plymouth. Keep up the good work because you are making a difference.

Karen Searle, Elburton

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