Hopes and Dreams
Gwennap Parish Council dreamed of creating an inspirational new community space and are so thrilled at the transformation that has occurred in such a short space of time. Their original play park housed some very tired, old equipment, which had definitely seen better days. However, it was a play space with much potential just waiting for a change!
Luckily, the Parish Council had the support of enthusiastic residents and local businesses in improving the park area, by installing modern equipment and creating an attractive and inviting recreational area, accessible to everyone. They took advantage of some of the funding options available to community projects and applied for two grants, succeeding in their bids for the Seta Cornwall Trust Fund the local United Downs Geothermal Community Fund.
The dedicated Parish Council provided some additional funding and, alongside valuable community fundraising, the park project was born; they now had a green light to go! This meant that Gwennap Parish Council had the enviable and exciting task of investing a substantial amount of money in an exciting, new, community play space.
The Schoolscapes’ expert team embraced the challenge of this extensive project. The old equipment needed to be extracted and disposed of, as well as new playground safety surfacing and inspirational equipment installed. Gwennap required an experienced company who could work collaboratively to achieve their new park aspirations, incorporating all their ideas and wishes, whilst remaining within budget.
The Parish Council also necessitated that the project had to be completed under a tight deadline, so needed guarantees that the work would be completed in time for their ‘Grand Opening’: another field where Schoolscapes’ valuable years of expertise installing play equipment all over the country would be crucial.
Our exciting challenge was how to best use this very large, green space, to create an amazing environment that would attract the community to visit more and meet everyone’s needs. They were hoping to create two distinctive play areas, add safety surfacing and provide an adult’s outdoor gym. However, they still wished to keep as much green space as possible and wanted to achieve a safe, but natural look to their new play area. They wanted to incorporate open spaces ideal for promoting free play, as well as providing green spaces to help nature in the area to continue to thrive.
Ready Steady Go!
We couldn’t wait to get started, so we wasted no time in working closely with the Parish Council to design and create a very special play park. Responding quickly to their requests and meeting as soon as possible onsite, we were able to look in detail at the space in question and discuss what they really wanted.
As a result, we securely understood what they were looking to achieve, in terms of the style and type of equipment. We were all excited when the funding came through and we’d got the final go-ahead to start creating an inspiring new play space for the community!
Our design package included inspirational and vibrant 3D designs, detailed renders and comprehensive project documentation. The Parish Council obtained many quotes and felt that the Schoolscapes’ 3D design was the most creative and imaginative.
We gave them time to reflect upon our proposals and to consult the local community for their ideas and inspiration. Our experience of over 26 years installing play equipment meant we had various options they could consider, ensuring they gained the maximum benefits and received the best quality equipment at the lowest cost.
Next, our skilled, in-house manufacturing team produced the timber equipment, which was carefully packaged and sent to the site. Meanwhile, our enthusiastic installations team got stuck in, dismantling the old play equipment, completing the groundwork and disposing of the waste, to ensure the land was ready for the install.
The site was flattened and landscaped, according to the plans, to achieve the look requested. This vast, green space was nearly ready to be transformed!
Our dedicated operations team co-ordinated the site development with the manufacture and delivery of the equipment, so the scheme installation went smoothly and ran on time. The experienced installations team communicated daily with the Parish Council during their site visits and were happy to answer questions and praised for their hard-working and approachable attitudes. Everyone was very happy with the project progress.
The Parish Council expressed delight with how the project had moved forward:
“Brilliant, the installations team were really fantastic… We had a quite a tight deadline for them to meet and they were aware of that and absolutely everything was finished for our big grand opening, so a really great experience.”
Finally, when all the equipment had been skilfully installed and checked, the durable safety surfacing was expertly laid where required. The natural colours and appearance of the bonded rubber play bark really enhanced the park’s natural look. Cellular rubber matting, where required, allowed the grass to grow through, maintaining as much greenery as possible. The park provided motivation and challenge but was safe for both little and big feet to explore.
The Gwennap community is now happy celebrating! It had achieved its goal of creating an attractive, top-quality park for the community to be proud of, attracting more regular visitors to this inspirational space than ever before. They celebrated with a memorable and exciting ‘Grand Opening’ event, which was an astounding success.
When asked how the park was being received, Fiona Barnard, Clerk to the Parish Council responded:
“Absolutely unbelievable. I’ve had so many comments, phone calls, emails and members of the public I don’t know coming up, thanking the Parish Council for the amazing equipment. We had our grand opening. It was a little bit of a grey and drizzly day, but I have to say the turn-out was amazing. We opened right at the start of the holidays and the park was really busy every day, all days of the holidays, and now we’re still having a much higher use of the play park than ever before, which is brilliant. The community coming together, children out playing, hanging out with their friends, meeting new people, and the adults, the parents and the child minders who bring their children are all being very positive about it: the equipment that’s been put in, the quality of it, the equipment itself is really fantastic.”
Large, circular picnic benches, traditional timber benches, roofed picnic tables and a giant timber gazebo mean that large numbers of visitors can rest, picnic and shelter whatever the weather.
Families, adults and young people alike are certainly enjoying using the park as a safe place to play and socialise. The park improvements are happily bringing the community together and enabling them to become more active at the same time. This is exactly the result that Gwennap Parish Council had hoped for.
Inclusive equipment where children can all play side by side, in a play area that also offers children a place to retreat, all helps to improve children’s physical and mental health, as well as their wellbeing. The Gwennap children are all so happy, proud and determined to look after their amazing new play space, so they can continue to enjoy the park for years to come.
Adults are benefitting too. They can use the fun open-air gym equipment to exercise and increase their fitness levels. The double-sided gym equipment allows users to socialise whilst they exercise or compete. There is truly something for everyone, whatever their attitude or goal! On one visit I even saw three generations laughing and exercising side by side: a teenager, mum and gran! Now that’s an achievement… and good for their happiness and wellbeing too!
Dreams into Reality
Generous grants have enabled Gwennap to achieve this fantastic, vast, new play park, which other communities are envious of, whilst remaining in budget. The smooth pathway the project has taken has allowed the process to be stress and worry free; the project has been expertly handled by Schoolscapes from consultation and planning through to installation and completion.
Watch Gwennaps Inspiring New Play Space in Action
When discussing how the project had gone, Fiona Barnard shared:
“I’ve worked with Schoolscapes on a couple of projects now and both times customer service has been brilliant, the workmanship fantastic and more importantly the quality of the work and the products themselves has been really brilliant. So definitely, without doubt, I’d recommend Schoolscapes to anyone looking to implement a new scheme in their play area.”
Everyone enjoyed the exciting ‘Grand Opening Day’ of Gwennap Public Park and children and adults alike will remember the event for years to come. The whole community are now very grateful for the determination of the Parish Council to make a change and delighted with the professionalism of the Schoolscapes’ team in fulfilling their unique brief so smoothly.
The development of their new, inspirational, community play space has been a huge success that they are all proud of. Locals and visitors alike are already benefitting from this amazing, quality recreational facility right on their doorstep. The project provides a huge range of modern, top-quality equipment, perfect for generations to come to discover and explore, whilst thoughtfully enriching this beautiful, natural, green space.
…Phew! A huge job well done… So, who’s next in line to achieve the park of their dreams? We are ready and motivated if you are?