Play spaces with the power to attract

How we can work with you to increase footfall through play spaces

When you work with Touchwood, we look closely at your ambitions to create structures that serve your business. The number of visitors you have on-site every day is key to ensuring your sustainability. Our structures and playgrounds are designed to attract and retain visitors as the hero piece of any attraction, education space, or residential area. With only natural materials, shapes and designs, our structures invite visitors to engage and play and in many instances, have increased interest in a specific site.

Our eye-catching structures have no instruction but invite free-flowing play that both children and adults can enjoy. Through gestures of play design, our natural structures can invite self-directed play to inspire cross-generational, unsupervised, or free-flowing play. Depending on your need, our expert teams leverage years of experience in play theory, material understanding, and high-quality design and build to ensure we create structures that draw in the crowds. This extends to the location of your play structure in any setting where we seek to enhance the an environment. 

A place to capture memories that last forever

We understand the influence visitors can have over subsequent visitor numbers. Better experiences lead to better visitor numbers, and as such, we cannot ignore the power of social media. By design, Touchwood creates awe-inspired, eye-catching structures that are visually impactful and appealing. Just as we inspire play, we inspire visitors to capture the memories they are creating, which can support an increase in visibility for your site. Working with our expert teams, we can ensure that your brand is embedded into the design so that our structures support increased awareness of – and deeper visitor connection to – your business.

As part of our designs, we can incorporate natural routes and pathways. These features can work to provide many benefits to your site as visitors navigate from one place to another. Not only can these wayfaring play spaces inspire different types of creative play, such as journey and route play, but draw visitors into the structures. In addition, our dedication to using only natural materials provides an innate desire for visitors to play, as we strike a balance between a natural inclination to be in nature and a drive to play.

Touchwood and National Trust

The National Trust selected Touchwood’s specialist team at Tyntesfield and Leigh Woods to design bespoke woodland play areas to complement and evoke each location’s unique environment and history.

At Tyntesfield, Touchwood’s brief was to create a play area high in the woods on the estate which would appeal to children of all ages and link with the history of the Victorian Gothic l house, gardens and parkland.

To ensure the design for the play trail would integrate seamlessly into the overall personality of Tyntesfield, Touchwood began the project with its unique “Designing for Real” process. Members of the National Trust team and children from the local community were invited for a day of exploration and adventure workshop in the woods to help develop the themes for the story and characters for the play trail. The finished play area, which is crafted from locally sourced wood from either the estate or from the Forest of Avon, includes brass rubbing posts and challenging play equipment such as an enchanted tree house, a rope swing and a giant guano bird and its nest, celebrating the fertiliser industry which gave the Gibbs family, who lived at Tyntesfield, the money to develop the house and estate.

Touchwood’s team also created a strong narrative link between the house and the woodland, with fictional carved woodland characters based on people who might once have worked at the house. These include Billy the Ear, the old bell ringer and Stan the Shovel, the fearsome man responsible for filling the coal burner that heated the house. There are also fictional fantasy sculptures like the playful Hunky Punks inspired by the Gothic gargoyles, which decorate the house’s exterior and who, in the play trail story, descend from the house at night and gather in the woodland.

“We have developed a strong partnership with the National Trust, and through our inclusive approach to play design, we have captured what makes Tyntesfield and Leigh Woods unique. In both these sites, we have created exciting and challenging natural play environments, which have attracted many more children and parents to visit, explore and learn more about the locations. Of course, each project had its complexities, but we are extremely pleased with the highly positive responses to the play areas from the National Trust and the many visitors who engage with them.”

Touchwood’s Founder, Joe Cooper
Find out more about Touchwood’s work with The National Trust here.

A destination for diverse types of play

When we work with you to develop and design structures, we create an environment that invites your visitors to explore their natural impulses to play. How we do this should reflect the intention of the surrounding environment, the types of play we wish to inspire, and the length of time visitors can spend engaging in the space. Play is intuitive and irrepressible. It is a spontaneous expression of curiosity, creativity and capacity for life. It is a natural impulse which everyone is born with and fundamental to cognitive development, emotional state, and mental and physical health. Human’s – and particularly children’s – deep-seated desire to play is perfectly matched by natural environments’ diverse physical and multi-sensory qualities. There are many different ‘play types’, and through the combination of using natural material and playful design, we can inspire many different types of play. This can expand the accessibility of play structures and playgrounds to attract diverse visitors. Understanding the setting for the structure and the materials we can use to inspire many different types of play help ensure everyone is included.

Increasing footfall throughout your site

Whether you want to create the hero piece of your site or add to your existing infrastructure, Touchwood helps drive traffic in any setting or location. With ample dwell time through play design, we extend the time visitors spend on location and help to change their emotional state and wellbeing by using natural materials. As visitors enjoy our structures as part of their visit, they are invited to spend time in and around other features you have to offer. With dwell time typically stretching across a meal time, we can help increase the footfall to your café or restaurant areas, for example.
We can also create routes and pathways that lead toward other commercial spaces. With our innovative natural designs helping to enhance wellbeing, we also help to make those commercial spaces more inviting to visitors who will be more willing to purchase in healthy and positive emotional states. At Touchwood, we will always take your full requirements and work with you to ensure that our natural structures reflect your business needs. 

speak with our play experts & create a playground

Our concept design team can quickly help you explore pricing, themes and play value on a call. Our designs are bespoke and no two are the same. Whether you’re a school or a world class leisure park, we can quickly come up with some ideas to support your project.