Early this year, a natural playground opened in Aberdeenshire that has been named immediately after one particular of Scotland’s most enigmatic climbers of the twentieth century, Tom Patey. He was born in Aberdeenshire, trained in drugs at Aberdeen College and at last ended up as a GP in Ullapool. From his college days onwards, he was a prolific rock and ice climber, location up new routes across Scotland, several of them now recognised as classic climbs.
Regrettably Tom Patey died in a climbing accident in 1970 at the tender age of 38. He had just completed crafting his only ebook, One particular Man’s Mountains. This is also a exceptional and particular reserve. He became famous – a home identify, on account of a BBC documentary covering the live climb of the Outdated Man of Hoy. He was just one of the theory organisers of this epic function and a vital climber. If you treatment to search at this video clip, then it is effectively truly worth also wanting at the shorter movie of Catherine Destivelle soloing the identical sea stack in 1998. It offers a excellent comparison about how climbing has designed over a 30 year time period.
When I heard the identify of this playground, my curiosity was piqued. What capabilities would be provided that recognise the climbing heritage of Scotland? Regrettably, at existing, I uncovered the playground, although intriguing, actually does not element climbing in any type. The closest acknowledgement of a climbing website link is the use of webbing to create a den-like framework in 1 part of the grounds.
Nonetheless, stating this, my understanding is that in thanks study course, as the playground is employed and evolves with children taking part in there, other capabilities might be added, so possibly this will change. A great illustration of climbing options inside of a normal playground can be viewed in the Morialta ‘Mukanthi’ weblog article which featured climbing rocks to go well with a range of ages and capabilities.
The presence of dens and social spaces are essential features to this purely natural playground. They have been sensitively designed to stay clear of one dominating the location and there’s enough for distinct groups of kids.
If you seem at every of the social areas, they are extremely various the two in come to feel and the use of the materials in development. The webbing place has a muddy area. The area previously mentioned is clearly defined and bark chipped.
Higher than the collecting location is in a quieter location – you have to seem to come across it as it’s enclosed by trees and a grassy lender.
Above you can see this is a grit pit, but it also supports a team to enjoy here. The existence of grass rising by means of, suggests, this is remaining skipped together side a deficiency of play traces. Saying that, the playspace is new, and sited away from the key thrust of the city. In thanks course a lot more residences will be created closer to the playground. This will impact on use.
An additional defining characteristic is the pathways as a result of and close to the web-site. These are a combine of buggy/wheelchair accessible grit surfaces as found over and mown pathways, and people positioned on the wee hillocks – see down below.
Once more, as the web site settles down and becomes issue to increased wear and tear, it will be exciting to see how little ones participating in there shape the pathways: which new types arise and which types are only not portion of how kids use the room.
Some functions invite exploration these types of as the large actions. The sizing and scale of these are wonderful. There is a very similar established in a different component of the park which is mildly disappointing – I like wide variety and alternative so would have seemed for an alternate set climbing actions. If you seem at the Cramond School web site put up, you will see the variety of features on the slope close to the playground which enable a variety of alternatives. Usually, nonetheless, this type of selection is merely a absence of budget somewhat than creativeness on the section of the designers.
All over the playground there are numerous pure loose sections still left in situ from modern higher winds and just rocks that are component of the landscape. This is usually a wonderful touch, and many have imaginative appeal.
And the natural equilibrium beams undoubtedly have a crocodile appeal…
A person characteristic I assumed was novel and fascinating was the log stack root system. Even though the signals stipulate this is a playground for young children 8yrs and about, there is no doubt that these characteristics have toddler appeal.
All-in-all, it was fantastic to be able to go to this playground and that the group have invested in a organic playscape is excellent as aspect of building the new city child-helpful. The use of organic characteristics has been fantastic and it is clear fantastic use has been made of what’s already in spot: locally offered materials.
There were being also flags that could be hoisted about the park, with children’s operate featured…
1 essential focal position was the swings. Excellent to see amidst the normal attributes as youngsters normally like a combination of standard playground gear and all-natural areas.
At last, I could not locate any reference to who has intended this room, which is a pity as I alway think a small acknowledgement goes a very long way. My gut feeling is that this is the do the job of Judi Legg and Sue Gutteridge or a designer who has been motivated by their function. I’ve blogged about beforehand.