Upton Country Park wanted to create a play-trail which would provide a meaningful connection with the Park and encourage visitors to enjoy their Forest walks. The client was able to maximise budget by providing many of the materials themselves. Providing a giant ancient tree for our team to work with and also offering the labour of their ranger team to help with the installation, which all helped to achieve maximum value for the project.
Our design team created a trail which began at the visitor arrival point, in the car-park. Our theme for the design featured repeating circles which provided a consistent repetition throughout the design. This theme enabled us to create tucked away spaces within the woodland that would be instantly identifiable as part of the trail, but which also required exploration and adventure to find.
Our design ensured the best utilisation of the existing landscape and in particular, the large specimen trees in the woodland. This included fixing a giant rope swing to a large mature tree and building an elegant cantilevered platform on the trunk of a strikingly curved tree.
Our team also developed a ‘one tree’ multi play feature. Using various parts of a large feature tree to encourage a variety of play – a hollow log for crawling through and clambering over, and the development of the huge root ball into an enticing, climbable structure. The large tree branches were crafted into balance and clambering bars and even the bark chip for the play area floor was made from the chipped branches of the tree.
The finished trail is accompanied by a map and a crayon which are supplied at the entrance to the Park which can be used on the brass rubbing discs that we fitted to the play installations.