With a combination of efficiency, careful planning and attention to detail, play area construction has become a real specialist area for the HFN team.
Our approach to play area construction is unique. To help familiarise ourselves with the product and identify any shortfalls in parts or design, we pre-assemble all play equipment at our own workshops before installation on site. This helps to avoid any unnecessary delays in construction and ensures that in the event of a missing part we can safeguard the equipment in a controlled and secure environment.
Completed play equipment is transported to the site in sub-assembly form, then erected quickly and smoothly to help reduce the exposure time to vandals. This revolutionary and efficient approach ensures minimum disruption on site, a swift handover and your project is completed in the least amount of time.
Over the last few years the ‘MUGA’ concept has become increasingly popular with local authorities and schools. Today’s restrictions on available play space, combined together with the cost effective nature of construction make these multi-functional recreation areas a sensible choice.
HFN have the skills and experience to construct a games area to meet the needs of individual authorities and clients and offer a variety of versatile, safe and low maintenance surfaces including rubber crumb, playtile and bitumen chippings.
We can also complete the MUGA design and build package by providing a number of fencing and flood lighting systems.
How Natural Play Helps Children
Metal and plastic swings, slides and roundabouts have their place and can be great fun, but there is a growing body of scientific and anecdotal evidence supporting the view that natural play areas are more inclusive of different ages, better at stimulating the imagination and less likely to provoke negative responses.
In particular, Design for Play, a DCSF and Play England document by Shackell and others, published in 2008, highlights ten key principles of successful play spaces which, according to Play England’s advice document Better Places to Play through Planning, should be considered alongside quality assessment. Set out in the panel below, starting with the natural play approach makes it much easier for any scheme to meet these common-sense, appealing guidelines.
Natural play areas fire the imagination. A mound can be a castle one moment, a ship the next. A raised path a runway for a large child, a tightrope for a small one.
By their size alone, natural play features tend to attract children of one age range, without rejecting those of others.
By the nature of their shapes and the materials used, natural play features are less inviting of vandalism, and harder to damage.
By working with the landscape, natural play areas are more likely to be special places in their own right, valued by children and the community at large.
The Design for Play principles (Shackell and others, 2008)
The golden rule: A successful play space is a place in its own right, specially designed for its location, in such a way as to provide as much play value as possible.
Neighbourhood Area Equipped for Play (NEAP) and Local Area Equipped for Play (LEAP).
Using our extensive experience and knowledge of play area construction, HFN can undertake a range of NEAP and LEAP projects to meet the specific needs of individual councils and local authorities. With a range of safe and durable multi-use games surfaces available, along with our specialist and bespoke fencing options, HFN can provide the complete build service from start to finish.
Our use of sub assembled play equipment guarantees minimum disruption on site, ensures an efficient and speedy turnaround and helps to reduce exposure to vandals.
HFN takes all the worry out of play area construction. We assemble all play equipment at our Head Office workshops before delivering to site. This means any assembly difficulties can be easily rectified, and ensures that the new equipment can be installed on the day of arrival, to full R.O.S.P.A. compliance. Any size or project can be catered for with bespoke play equipment provided. Our special rubberised surfaces ensure a fun and safe environment for children to play, taking into account all necessary critical fall heights when installing.
A recent enhancement of HFN's skill base is the implemenation of a variety of recreational sports parks. Differing from play areas in the concept that equipment is not the paramount factor but encouragement of diverse activity through a spectrum of sporting options is generated by the creation of a multi use marked base or natural play items i.e. boulders, wooden structures etc. to stimulate imaginative environments.
A natural extension of an urban play area, skateparks can be added to any recreational project. Manufactured from hard wearing concrete, the skaters and riders first choice of surface, our parks are very hard wearing, quiet and of course low maintenance.
Cut and fill works were undertaken within an existing playing field. Minor demolition works, to break up existing surfaces. Supply and installation of kerbing/edging and channel works. Supply and installation of new MUGA surface comprising of a macadam surface. Minor softworks including top soiling, seeding and turfing works. Supply and installation of new Husson MUGA unit. All site works with additional items were completed within the timed programme of works.
Project Value £63,000
Medium size cut and fill works were undertaken within an existing football pitch.
Infrastructure works including PCC edging, tar macadam and wet pour safety surfacing. Fencing works, including hoop top fencing, ball stop fencing and Palisade fencing.
Supply and installation of all play equipment/benches and litter bins.
Project Value £65,000
Contract Sum: £164,327.52
Contract period: 20 weeks
Set in the grounds of the 16th Century Oak House, this adventure site utilised clearance and excavation works, drainage to the large shipweck sand area with dry river bed created with stones set in concrete.
Willow screening installed creating a natural backdrop with log walling around the play area. Standing stones erected across the site with concrete foundations to Health and Safety specifications, and play equipment installation including wooden log fort. Softened with planting beds and turfing with a lavender maze feature.
Contract sum: £58,000
Contract Period: 5 weeks
A Natural Play scheme with speaking tubes, a climbing wall and huge canons fire imagination within this simple yet adaptable environment with swings, pike fence and boulders, all encompassing natural materials to enhance the area.
The rampart shields built atop a 'bridge of boats' reflects the historical theme of the Worcester Civil war in 1653 when roundheads crossed the rivers Teme and Severn using this concept. Crawl tunnels open up options of play and the pikes based on historical weapons make excellent steps to the mound and adapt as resting seats.
Installation period: five weeks
Description / Principal Features:
First phase of the redesign and renovation of an existing community play area.
All timber creating a natural environment. Geared towards creative stimulation with ample open turfed areas, meeting stones and pencil maze, with longer grassed areas and standing stone for interactive play.
Installation period: ten weeks
Description / Principal Features:
City park in a large local authority housing area.
Emphasis on communal meeting points and learning skills areas.
Features include natural stonework, climbing frames, felled tree trunks and embankment slides.