17-June-2013 by Aileen Shackell
We're really delighted that our scheme at Inwood Park in Hounslow where we acted as landscape architects for the consultancy PLAYLINK has won runner's up prize in the Children's Play category of the Street Design Awards for 2013 (run by Local Government News). We came second out of over 40 entries, and it seems the standard was very high, so this is a real boost for the whole team - not least the Friends of Inwood Park, without whom the project would not have happened.
The scheme exemplifies our 'landscape-led' approach to designing for play, with the key ingredients of sand and water taking a lead role in a playful landscape surrounded by planting. With plenty lawn alongside - and included within the new water play area - there's lots of space for families to spread out and enjoy themselves whilst some messy watery play takes place. There are a few items of equipment, so that sand and water can be manipulated, and plenty jets hidden amongst the boulders to find. Controls for these are scattered around the play space and there's plenty fun to be had, splashing your friend who might not even realise that there's a water jet right underneath them.
The splash pool provided space for somewhere to paddle (as well as enjoy the jets) and the more informal area surfaced in a carefully sculpted finish replicate the rivulets found along the edge of a sandy beach, and includes narrow channels through which the water from the jets flows. Lots of scope for creative -play and it's all set in a gorgeous green space.
To top it off the area has benefited from extra investment by LBH who augmented 'Aiming High' funding to improve the toilets to make these fully inclusive so that even very disabled children can enjoy the new play space. With accessible toilets, showers and a hoist, most., if not all, children will be able to play here - alongside, and with, their non-disabled friends. The area has proved very popular with local families and it's noticeable just how long people stay here. With the cafe and loos nearby, once the sun is shining (assuming the homework has been done!) there's little reason to go home.