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Recreational Areas

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.

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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. 

Case Studies

Kenrick Park MUGA

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.

  1. Successful play spaces: are ‘bespoke’ - designed to enhance their setting
  2. Are well located - in the best possible place for children
  3. Make use of natural elements - close to nature
  4. Provide a wide range of play experiences - where children can play in different ways
  5. Are accessible to both disabled and non-disabled children - where they can play together
  6. Meet community needs and are loved by the community
  7. Allow children and young people of different ages to play together
  8. Build-in opportunities to experience risk and challenge - where children can stretch and challenge themselves in every way
  9. Are sustainable and appropriately maintained - maintained for play value and environmental sustainability
  10. Allow for change and evolution- evolving as the children grow

Case Studies

Oak House Play Area West Bromwich

St Peters Play Area Worcester

Tenbury Wells

Primrose Park

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.

Case Studies

Hateley Heath

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.

Case Studies

Manor Farm, Birmingham

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.

Case Studies

Warndon Park

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.

Case Studies

Britannia Skate Park

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