Class Three children at Boughton Monchelsea Primary School, Maidstone, met with playground designers Kompan and members of the MBC Property Team when the plans for the play area were shared with the pupils in a workshop.
The theme of the surrounding landscape has been taken into careful consideration and the design includes a proposed woodland theme play area. Using natural materials to compliment the riverside backdrop, the playpark will feature slides, climbing equipment, a sunken mini trampoline, all centred around a giant squirrel which children can also climb onto.
During the workshop all of the children really engaged with the woodland theme and suggested the squirrel should be named and said that it wasn’t like any play area they had seen before. The class will be invited back to officially open the playpark later on in the year.
MBC’s Leisure Services Manager Alexa Kersting Woods said:
“We couldn’t build a play area without talking to our customers first. It was a fun workshop to do with the children at Boughton Monchelsea School and to see which elements of the playpark they engaged with the most. We are happy to have got the ‘thumbs up’ from the Class Three pupils.
“The play area provides something for the younger children to do outside of Lockmeadow. We already have the table tennis area beside the stag and it is a lovely area of Maidstone that isn’t utilised. We can’t wait to see the class visit Lockmeadow to open the play park this autumn.”
Work will start on the Lockmeadow play area in seven weeks’ time and is set for completion in September. The cost of the new playpark is £80,000 and is designed to blend in with the riverside. It is aimed at children aged two to eight years old.
Ms Kersting Woods added:
“One of Maidstone Borough Council’s objectives for Lockmeadow is to utilise our outdoor space more and integrate with its position beside the river. The area hasn’t been maximised in the past and the playpark will be a key part of our place-making delivery.”
Boughton Monchelsea School Class teacher, Mr Stevens said: “This was a great opportunity for the children as they have been studying the riverside of Maidstone as their topic. Projects like these bring it alive for them and it certainly fired up their imaginations. We look forward to seeing it completed.”
The play area forms part of Lockmeadow’s expansion plans, including the Love Food @ Lockmeadow food hall and the outside eating terrace development.