Mr. Wiltshere at Muswell Hill Primary School got in touch with a variety of outdoor play equpiment companies, with the intention of reimagining their primary school’s outdoor spaces.
The brief featured five different areas that needed attention; some spaces were bare and needed ideas, whilst some had existing equipment that needed removing and replacing.
Muswell Hill Castle
Originally this bank had large amphitheatre style seating that consisted of old wooden decking that was very slippy and dangerous to play on. Having built a number of bespoke wooden castles that utilise existing embankments to increase play value, we knew that a proposal centred around a castle like this would catch Muswell Hill’s imagination, as well as meet their brief for a brand new play provision.
We removed and disposed of their old seating and covered the bank in soft artificial grass and installed Muswell Hill’s Castle on top. We utilised their existing slide, and added a large ramp to traverse up and down the hill. The two towers of the castle are accessible by ramps and ladders, and are joined by a large spiders web net.
Looking down the hill from the castle battlements, you can see Muswell Hill’s other large climbing unit. A castle-themed Klink unit caught the pupils of Muswell Hill Primary’s attention with it’s variety of challenging climbing activities and exciting theme. The staff and governors at Muswell Hill loved the ‘Motte and Bailey’ design, with a castle at the top and bottom of the hill, too.
Their existing activity trail had very little play value, but was still in good condition. We therefore proposed to fill the gaps between their existing trail equipment with new trail kit, to improve the play value and make the trail more exciting without having to needlessly rip out the old kit at a further cost to the school. We filled the gaps between their existing bridge, trapeze bars and balance beam with bright and colourful mushrooms, another set of different coloured trapeze bars (as these were apparently a favourite at the school), and finished the trail off with parallel ropes.
Previously a corner of unused and cordoned-off shrubland, we set to work clearing the area of all the bushes and trees to create a blank slate. Mr Wiltshere mentioned that his pupils love to perform, and would love an area in which they could act out plays or their own stories to interested onlookers. Our ever-popular HDPE stage was the perfect proposition, and we constructed a raised wooden deck with HDPE wings and a backdrop for the pupils to use.
Tree Tops Trail
The most challenging aspect of the proposal was to create a play provision amongst the trees at Muswell Hill Primary School. They approaced us with the desire to reimagine this area and to give it some purpose. To continue the woodland theme, we installed three large uprights with HDPE palm fronds on top and rock holds up the sides, by which to traverse around the palm trees. Opposite the rock holds are some drop rope traverses, and either side of the trail continues with rock traverse panels.
Red and green rubber mulch underfoot provides the requisite safety surface, whilst also keeping a natural look.
Muswell Hill have been overjoyed at their transformation. They wanted their pupils to be involved in the design process, and so at every stage we made sure to offer them various different customisation elements, like the colour of the HDPE panels, ropes, metalwork and so on, to make the schemes truly theirs. We have improved their outdoor spaces’ play values massively, and are very proud of another job well done.