Early this 12 months, a natural playground opened in Aberdeenshire that has been named immediately after 1 of Scotland’s most enigmatic climbers of the twentieth century, Tom Patey. He was born in Aberdeenshire, skilled in drugs at Aberdeen College and eventually finished up as a GP in Ullapool. From his college times onwards, he was a prolific rock and ice climber, setting up new routes across Scotland, a lot of of them now recognised as common climbs.
Regrettably Tom Patey died in a climbing accident in 1970, aged 38. He experienced just concluded producing his only reserve, Just one Man’s Mountains. He became renowned – a home identify – on account of a BBC documentary covering the live climb of the Outdated Person of Hoy. He was just one of the principle organisers of this epic party and a important climber. If you care to search at this online video, then it’s nicely well worth also seeking at the shorter movie of Catherine Destivelle soloing the identical sea stack in 1998. It gives a great comparison about how climbing has created over a 20+ yr period of time.
When I read the name of this playground, my curiosity was piqued. What functions would be provided that recognise the climbing heritage of Scotland? Sadly, at present, I identified the playground, whilst appealing, seriously does not characteristic climbing in any sort. The closest acknowledgement of a climbing website link is the use of webbing to develop a den-like construction in one section of the grounds.
On the other hand, stating this, my knowledge is that in owing program, as the playground is made use of and evolves with youngsters playing there, other functions might be additional, so most likely this will adjust. A fantastic instance of climbing attributes inside of a all-natural playground can be seen in the Morialta ‘Mukanthi’ site publish which featured climbing rocks to fit a assortment of ages and capabilities.
The presence of dens and social spaces are critical areas to this pure playground. They have been sensitively designed to avoid a single dominating the area and there is adequate for various teams of young children.
If you look at each individual of the social areas, they are incredibly diverse both equally in come to feel and the use of the materials in design. The webbing spot has a muddy floor and pretty open in really feel. The place over is clearly described and bark chipped.
Higher than the accumulating location is in a quieter place – you have to seem to come across it as it’s enclosed by trees and a grassy lender.
Over you can see this is a grit pit, but it also supports a team to participate in below. The presence of grass expanding as a result of, suggests, this is staying missed along side a lack of perform traces. Stating that, the playspace is new, and sited absent from the major thrust of the town. In because of training course extra homes will be created closer to the playground. This will influence on use.
An additional defining function is the pathways through and all around the web-site. These are a mix of buggy/wheelchair available grit surfaces as found earlier mentioned and mown pathways, and individuals placed on the wee hillocks – see beneath.
Once more, as the web site settles down and turns into subject to greater don and tear, it will be intriguing to see how small children enjoying there shape the pathways: which new kinds emerge and which kinds are simply just not component of how small children use the room.
Some attributes invite exploration these types of as the huge techniques. The measurement and scale of these are fantastic. There is a similar established in another component of the park which is mildly disappointing – I like variety and choice so would have seemed for an alternative set climbing measures. If you look at the Cramond Faculty blog site publish, you will see the diversity of capabilities on the slope around the playground which empower a vary of selections. Often, however, this form of determination is just a absence of funds somewhat than creativity on the portion of the designers.
All over the playground there are several pure free sections remaining in situ from latest superior winds and rocks that are portion of the landscape. This is usually a pleasant touch, and many have imaginative attractiveness.
And the all-natural equilibrium beams undoubtedly have a crocodile persona..
One particular aspect I assumed was novel and interesting was the log stack root process. While the signals stipulate this is a playground for little ones 8yrs and in excess of, there is no question that these types of capabilities have toddler attractiveness.
All-in-all, it was excellent to be equipped to stop by this playground and that the local community have invested in a purely natural playscape is outstanding as aspect of building the new city boy or girl-friendly. The use of purely natural options has been superb and it’s crystal clear fantastic use has been produced of what is previously in location: regionally accessible elements.
There ended up also flags that could be hoisted all around the park, with children’s work featured…
Just one critical focal issue was the swings. Excellent to see amidst the purely natural functions as young children typically like a combination of conventional playground tools and natural areas.
Ultimately, I could not come across any reference to who has built this place, which is a pity as I alway feel a tiny acknowledgement goes a long way. My gut feeling is that this is the operate of Judi Legg and Sue Gutteridge or a designer who has been influenced by their do the job. I have blogged previously about Judi and Sue’s perform here.