Location: King George V Playing Field, Ealing, London, UK [MAP]
Designer: Groundwork London
Project Type: Natural Playscape
Completion Date: early 2010 (1)
Access: Bus: 195 and E8 stop outside the park and travel up and down the Boston Manor Road on a frequent basis.
Tube/train: Boston Manor Station (Piccadilly line). Turn right out of the station and walk 1.5 miles straight up Boston Manor Road until you reach the park on the left. Alternatively Hanwell Rail station is just 0.6 miles from the park. Entrances on the Lower Boston Manor Road, St Mark’s Road and Bostonthorpe Road.1
King George Playing field is one of the first playgrounds in London that has embraced the ideas of natural play. Children here challenge themselves. Risk has been designed in the playground.
Natural play is about using natural materials like wood, sand, water and plants. Equipment is un-prescriptive and bespoke.
The climbing structure is all about learning balance, challenge and coordination. If a child does fall off, there is enough sand to protect his fall.
This playground has been open for less than a year and already the grass on the mounds shows some wear. That just demonstrates that children love it.
Children can climb on the trunks and ride blocks of wood. They can be pirates, sailors or shepherds. It’s up to their imagination.
This playground aims to stimulate imagination. There are no duck springers or dog-see-saws.
A tunnel connects the small children playground to the bigger children area. The mound creates a separation between the two spaces but also a great playing medium.
And why not try the big slide? It is lots of fun.
Plants are here to stimulate children’s senses. Lavander is used in lots of places.
And if you feel a builder, please try the ‘360 degree sand-excavator’, it is really fun!
All images © Citrusbelladonna, 2010
© The Secret Garden Atlas, 2013