The National Trust asked TouchWood to maximise Saltram’s stunning location and to create a space which draws on the stately character of the Georgian house, as well as the fluid nature of the woodland and riverside location. Creating an exciting place for children of all ages and abilities to come together, challenge themselves and play in a range of different creative ways.
Our design team focused on creating a narrative through the play which linked together Plymouth’s heritage as an Ocean City and Saltram’s fascinating historical relationship to the china clay mining and shipping industry and to hand painted Chinese wallpaper.
Our Team began the process with a Designing for Real Day process involving local children, volunteers and staff at the National Trust and Plymouth County Council. Their feedback from the day of workshops and fun, provided the basis for our designs, which aimed to capture the essence of Saltram’s history.
This play area featured a miner’s tunnel with slide and climbing routes, a dock with climbing and hiding chests. A central ship feature constructed from large round poles stacked to offer multiple climbing and scrambling opportunites, with high and low platforms, tall stepping logs, and a V-bridge, linking the tower to a slide mound.
The design provides a diverse range of behavioural settings, offering physical challenges for all ages like swinging, sliding, climbing, balancing and crawling; imaginative play opportunities through the ship and jetty, miners tunnel and sculpture; educational opportunities through the human sundial and discovery trail.