Sacrewell Farm, a children’s attraction in Peterborough, has been voted the best play site in England at the first-ever Play Value Awards, held at the RoSPA’s Play Safety Conference 2019.
The awards recognise excellence in the provision of children’s playgrounds, with the quality and variety of play opportunities being assessed. The winner was chosen by an open vote by delegates at the conference, most of whom manage playgrounds on behalf of local authorities or charities.
Sacrewell Farm was recognised for its immersive, “playable” landscape which includes a nature trail with balance beams, nets, a nest structure, and traversing ropes that offer physical and adventurous play. The existing watercourse was enhanced with a new shallow stream, informal crossings, boulders, decks and stonewalling. Judges were particularly impressed with seating elements throughout the site that encourage visitors to linger, and open up the space to use for gatherings or performances.
Mark Renouard, director of Earth Wrights Ltd and who collected the award on behalf of Sacrewell Farm, said: “It feels fantastic to know that the innovative work to provide an inspiring play space at Sacrewell Farm has been recognised by our peers in the industry. The design team made sure that we listened carefully to the most important people of all – children. The result has been an award-winning play space. This approach has really been proved worthwhile.”
The five other play sites in contention for the top award were: Diana Memorial Playground, Kensington Gardens, London; Heaton Park, Manchester; The Children’s Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Town Park, Telford; and William’s Den, North Cave, East Riding of Yorkshire. The sites were shortlisted by RoSPA Play Safety inspectors who visit playgrounds across the country.
David Yearley, head of RoSPA Play Safety, said: “It was a real pleasure to host the UK’s first Play Value Awards at the RoSPA Play Safety Conference this year. The awards are part of our commitment to celebrating achievement and promoting excellence in playgrounds and play sites. We are very grateful to everyone who took part in the play value awards.”
The sell-out RoSPA Play Safety Conference 2019 was held at the Birmingham Metropole Hotel and was attended by play safety experts and practitioners from across the UK.
For more on RoSPA Play Safety, see www.rospa.com/Play-Safety