Landscape & Amenity

February 2016

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15 Enquiry 66 FEBRUARY 2016 Your essential guide for Sports & Playground Equipment in association with today & play activity Clacton's newest attraction ready whatever the weather Manifesto for physical activity from children's earliest years wins support Clacton-On-Sea's newest attraction, Hasty's Adventure Park, is set to be a key tourism attraction next year, particularly as it offers world class play facilities that are impervious to the unpredictable summer weather. As a brand new attraction, Hasty's knew that play would be a very important part of the offering and worked with Timberplay from the outset to create a challenging and existing play area that would appeal to children of all ages. In an inspirational feat of design, the play area was constructed underneath a large Roundhouse Cattle Shed, providing year round protection from the weather. The Hasty's play areas has been designed and created with older children in mind, with a mammoth bespoke climbing forest. Three towers dominate the space, with net walkways and bridges spanning the gaps between. O n c e c h i l d r e n h a v e negotiated their way to the top they can choose to carry on clambering around at height, or come back to earth A warm welcome for measures to provide high quality opportunities for the very youngest children in society to be physically active has been welcomed by the UK play industry. The Association of Play Industries (API), which campaigns at the highest levels for policy recognition for play, supports the recommendations set out by the British Heart Foundation National Centre's Best Start in Life manifesto. The BHFNC early years a d v i s o r y g r o u p u r g e s policymakers not to ignore pre school-aged children when developing policy on physical activity. API Chair Mark Hardy says: "With many children already overweight when they start primary school, it is vitally important to embed physical activity into children's lives as early as possible. "Physical activity provides clear developmental, health and wellbeing benefits to even the youngest children, and healthy lifestyle habits and behaviours that start early in life are more likely to continue in adulthood. Parents, childcare settings, l o c a l a u t h o r i t i e s a n d government all have a vital job to do in providing opportunities, places and time for the youngest children to play and be active." The BHFNC manifesto for physical activity in the early years calls for: • Health education professionals and families to act upon the Chief Medical Offi cer's guidelines for physical activity in the early years; • Greater emphasis on the importance of physical activity across the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, and better guidance and training for early years practitioners on how to promote and develop physical activity in young children; • Access to safe and stimulating physical activity and travel opportunities in every local community; • Health professionals to provide better guidance and support for parents on increasing physical activity in young children. The API urges policymakers to take on board the manifesto's recommendations – as well as those for a holistic strategy to support child development, as set out in the recent report on play by the All Party Parliamentary Group for a Fit and Healthy Childhood - when developing the national obesity framework to ensure the health and wellbeing of the under-fi ves are not over- looked. Recent API research showed that nearly four in ten (38%) parents are worried their local playground will close down, with more than half (56%) unhappy about the lack of high quality play facilities in their local area. API Enquiry 64 via slides, fireman's poles or climbing walls. Balance beams and generous ropes provide lower level challenge and a sand safety surface guarantees a soft landing. This combination of ropes, bridges, nets and walkways provides the ultimate in fl exible fun as children can pit their way around the course, choosing the path that best suits them. Hammocks also serve as the perfect rest stop if it all becomes too much. As Penny Smith, Owner and Manager of Hasty's commented: "I approached Timberplay as I felt their approach to pushing the boundaries of play, imagination and adventure struck a real chord with what we wanted. They coped with our out of the box way of thinking and rose to the challenge of designing something unique for us. The installation team were brilliant, we had left them with many challenges to bring the design to life but they did a fantastic job and made us completely confi dent in the quality of the whole fi nished project." With the Roundhouse Cattle Shed having open sides, the play area still feels as if it is outdoors, fresh air can fl ow around the build and children can run in and out as they wish. F r o m T i m b e r p l a y ' s perspective, the Hasty's project had some very specifi c issues. Ensuring that all the equipment fi tted safely under the canopy demanded very careful design and installation. Spread over 5 hectares, Hasty's is set to include a petting zoo, paddocks, ponds and a go-kart track when it opens its doors properly for the 2016 season. Timberplay Enquiry 65 0203 409 5303 'This is a great example of families being able to exercise and get healthy together. What was a derelict area of tarmac, has had this spectacular makeover and is now going to be great for all generations, for generations to come' Councillor Vivienne Lukey, London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

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