Play & Activity

JUNE 2018

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Sport England Steelway Wicksteed Major new investment programme Page 15 The benefi ts of MUGAs Page 17 Creating bespoke solutions Page 18 Protectors and campaigners for our parks and green spaces, Fields in Trust, have released the fi ndings from the fi rst ever research study on parks and green spaces to use welfare weighting methodology. Association of Play Industries Chair, Mark Hardy welcomed the "groundbreaking" research which, he said, will help to inform evidence-based policy decisions. "Our Nowhere to Play research and campaign highlights an alarming decline in playgrounds across the UK – spaces which once lost could be gone forever – and the negative impact this has on children, families and whole communities," he continued. "Now for the fi rst time, Fields in Trust have quantifiable evidence of the value of parks and green spaces. The Wellbeing Value associated with the frequent use of local parks and green spaces is worth £34.2 billion per year to the entire UK adult population and parks are estimated to save the NHS around £111 million. Play specialists Timberplay joined forces with Odds Farm Park to host a Play Study Day, focusing on how play can be best utilised to boost visitor numbers and improve visitor satisfaction levels. The event, held at Odds Farm in Buckinghamshire featured an array of specialist speakers. Attendees learned about; the history of play, the psychological reasoning behind play, the importance of risk and challenge within play, management and maintenance of play spaces, how to effectively market play and how to deal with negative feedback. There was also a site tour around Odds Farm and experience their The children of Bentley C of E Primary School were treated to a fun Friday in early May, when neighbouring Bentley Play Park finally opened after two years of intense fundraising. Beneath bright blue skies, the £50,000 scheme was given the red tape treatment by TV gardening celebrity Alan Titchmarsh and the excited school kids got fi rst go on the brand new play equipment. Throughout the campaign, eibe Play worked alongside and supported the team at Bentley Parish Council to aid them in Odds Farm and Timberplay offer insight on boosting visitor numbers Pupils swarm to long- awaited play area "There is also further evidence that our parks and green spaces contribute to a preventative health agenda, reduce future Exchequer expenditure, reduce health inequalities and increase social cohesion and equality. These spaces have been taken for granted – an essential part of the fabric of our lives – and now they are under threat. "Such is the positive impact of our parks and green spaces, that to lose them will further exacerbate the obesity crisis and rising mental health problems, as well as increasing levels of loneliness across many sectors of the population. "This research will enable the development of a strategy across multiple levels of local and central government to guide the provision of parks and green spaces. The research points to the fact that parks provide disproportionately higher levels of benefi ts to those in lower socio- economic groups and means that it is now possible to identify those areas where investment will have the biggest impact on individuals and communities. outdoor play areas first hand. Timberplay's relationship with Odds Farm Park spans back to 2013 when the popular attraction installed a toddler role play area. This was soon followed by the creation of a sand and water play area in 2014 and an extensive Adventure Play Area in 2016. More recently, Odds Farm revealed a new Adventure Play Fort last year and those attending the Study Tour will be one of the fi rst to experience the farm's amazing new water play area. The work between the two was recently recognised within the industry after Timberplay won Best Trade Supplier at their quest. Consulting closely with clerk, Lorraine Jeffs, the plan was to introduce a more natural element to the play area to blend in with the local environment. Lots of wooden features were thus specifi ed and eibe installed a bespoke unit from the Unique range reached by a Treehouse and Walk Bridge. Surrounding the main feature are some tunnels and mounds, individual swings, seesaw and slide. eibe Play "We support Fields in Trust wholeheartedly in their work to prioritise our parks and green spaces and to ensure they are recognised as integral to the health and wellbeing of all of us." The Association of Play Industries (API) www.api- play.org is the lead trade the National Farm Attraction Network (NFAN) annual awards for the continued success in the work carried out at the farm. Ben Harbottle, Sales Director at Timberplay commented: "Play is for all ages and Odds Farm features some great examples of how diverse play can be." Timberplay API welcomes groundbreaking new research on parks and green spaces body within the play sector and campaigns at the highest levels for policy recognition for play. Its members are leading m a n u f a c t u r e r s , i n s t a l l e r s , designers and distributors of both outdoor and indoor play equipment and safety surfacing. Founded in 1984, the API currently has 63 members. The API operates under the umbrella of the Federation of Sports and Play Associations (FSPA), the national trade body responsible for representing 13 Associations in the UK's sport and play industries. API L a n d s c a p e & A m e n i t y w w w. l a n d s c a p e a n d a m e n i t y. c o m June 2018 Spotlight on the vibrant play industry

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