Croyde is a well-loved seaside town, popular with many tourists and visitors throughout the year. The local Georgeham Parish Council asked TouchWood to create a new play area which would be robust enough to withstand high levels of usage but which would also provide a bespoke, high quality, crafted design that is indicative of the town.
TouchWood designed a scheme which picked up on the seaside location but also the playful concept of being able to have fun and ‘monkey around with friends’. The concept led to the bespoke design of a dramatic central feature of a Monkey Ship, in the play space.
All the structures in the play area were created using robust, round pole towers, clad with durable larch cladding that was crafted by TouchWood’s team into a ship-shape form.
Children can clamber up to the ship via the giant carved log steps, then scramble up the net ‘rigging’ before whizzing down the slide or whooshing down the fireman’s pole.
The design includes a number of ‘hidey-holes’ under the decking, with portholes, doorways and climbing holes enabling children to climb up through and onto the ship decks. A tall mast and monkey bar feature link the stern and the bow of the ship.
Within the main bark pit created in the play space, TouchWood hand-crafted a huge and highly tactile hollow log, which encourages tunneling and hiding. Alongside, there are a variety of rope balancing features. The bark pit is edged with logs, offering more opportunities to step, balance, or sit.
The play area is located nearby Croyde’s volleyball pitches, which are a popular focal point for the community. TouchWood’s design team noted the popularity of the volleyball pitches in the community and wanted to create a link between the two areas.
The design team considered where the best vantage point was within the play space and raised up the height of the log edging to create viewing posts, so visitors to the play area can also watch volleyball being played nearby.
Finally, TouchWood designed a community shelter, to create a gathering area, which they connected to the play space via a series of playful ropeways. The shelter is close to a large basket swing feature, which provides a starting point to begin the play journey via the balance trail, which leads on to the boat feature and the other play features, creating a fully integrated and unified play space.