A Natural Playground and Scientific Garden for BangBandhu in Bethnal Green London
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GROUND
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BangaBandhu Primary - Natural Sustainable Playground and Scientific Garden

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Natural Sustainable Playground with Sensory Area, Scientific Garden and a Play Structure to Die For - See Photos

Teacher's Quote - 'Lunch time and Playtimes used to be one endless series of arguments and fighting.This fantastic design of Robert’s has changed all that. The children now are so occupied with the masses of activities and different areas that we have not had one single argument or bad temper since this incredible playground was opened. Seeing is believing !'

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Community Garden Design and Build

Construction of a Scientific and Ecological Garden

  • This Scientific Garden will contain a profusion of Natural Habitats to encourage the living environment for insects , invertebrates , mammals , amphibians and birds .
  • This Scientific Garden will contain copses , rocks , pebbles , shingles , coloured gravels , leaf piles , twig piles , old branches and many rotting logs (complete with moss growth) .
  • The ground will be undulating and there will be a central bog garden , containing rocks , old logs and a variety of grasses and bog plants .
  • The bog garden will be traversed by a Timber Walkway (with hand rails) which will lead to a  corner Octagonal Pavilion ; this will have a cedar shingle roof , timber floor , balustrade surrounds and low internal bench seats .
  • This Octagonal Pavilion will be used daily by the children as a Quiet Corner ; it will also be used regularly as an Outdoor Scientific Teaching Room .
  • Carefully positioned amongst the Silver Birch trees , is a Gypsy Caravan , surrounded by Grasses , Rocks and Old Branches

The visual aspect of this Wooden Caravan will further excite the children and enhance their fantasies for their Imaginative Play . It will serve as a Play House , a place of shelter from inclement weathers and as a Scientific look-out position (for viewing this whole Ecological area). It will also be possible for nuts , bread , bacon , cheese etc.  to be hung from the caravan eaves to encourage birds ; window boxes can be added to grow insect attracting flowers .

  • A Tree House on a large platform , sits in the corner of this Garden . This Tree House will be used daily by the children in their Imaginative Play games . The other purpose for this Tree House and Platform is for a  Scientific Teaching area where the children can view the trees and the general vegetation from a different (higher  level) perspective .
  • This Garden also contains 2 long raised timber planters for the growing of vegetables and flowers for the Teaching of Sustainable Gardening .
  • A Timber Walkway divides this Garden from the larger Play and Activity Playground ; a further Timber Walkway allows easy access to the Tree House Platform and Steps .
  • In order to encourage the children to Friendship amongst themselves , Inter Active discussions and the sharing of ideas and possessions , a Barbeque fire pit is centrally situated; this has seating areas in the form of Logette Stools and Sitting Logs ; seating also is offered on the Veranda of the Gypsy Caravan as well as the Tree House low bench seating positions .
  • The 3 perimeter fences of this Garden , will be planted with semi mature evergreen shrubs ( this will provide shelter , windbreak and privacy ) .   
  • Around the perimeters and throughout this garden will be planted groupings of Wildflowers, Grasses , Ferns and Woodland plants .
  • These plantings will encourage all forms of wildlife and insects .
  • To assist with Scientific studies and collections , a stone table will be constructed , close to the Cedar Shingle Pavilion .
  • It is anticipated that this Garden will be a Haven for wildlife and will form a central core in the teaching of Science skills to the children .

The Activity Playground

  • The larger part of this Junior Playground is devoted to a series of very Energetic and Challenging Activities .
  • This entire Activity area will be softened with a covering of Artificial grass and bordered and interspersed with a myriad of Sensory Plants as well as a variety of semi mature palm Trees and Olive Trees , all contained in Raised Timber Planters .
  • Shelter in this large Activity Area will be provided by 6 Timber Seating Arbours ; these are set in strategic positions around the Playground .
  • Further shelter is provided  by the very large Cedar Shingle Pavilion which is centrally positioned and thus equidistant from all the Activity structures .
  • An exciting Tree House in the middle of the main Activity structure , will also be a place of shelter .
  • Low bench seats are positioned throughout this Playground ; these seats offer places to relax , to recover energy and for the children to sit and watch the climbing skills of their friends . Many of these seats also offer shelter from the Sun and the Wind as they are positioned under the spreading Palm Trees and the semi mature Olive Trees .
  • These extensive low bench seating areas will assist with any over spills of children on days of Scientific and Ecological teaching lessons .
  • At the entrance to this Activity Playground are 2 sets of Monkey Bar frames ; these are positioned on an existing Wetpour Soft Surface .
  • This Wetpour Surface will also feature 2 “Chin Up Bars” and 2 “Somersault Bars” .
  • Immediately adjacent , will be a large Pyramid Climbing Frame ; this is an exciting climbing structure which allows 4 children to exercise and climb and circulate , at any one time .
  • Children adore the thrill of exhilarating Rides and Swings . For their enjoyment , a really major Wild Tyre Swing is positioned in the Artificial Grass area . This whole area will be dug out and the ground prepared for Shock Pads , before the installation of the Artificial Grass .
  • Another favourite of Junior Children is a Zip Wire (a Cable way ) ; running the length of this Playground is a 28  metre long exciting Aerial Zip Wire which will entertain the children for hours on end . This Aerial Runway will traverse  an area of Recycled Rubber Play Bark chips , which offer the best “cushion” for landing .
  • Children love Water and experimenting with water and playing in water ; this Playground includes a fenced Water Feature area which comprises Palm Trees , a Timber Arbour , low bench seating , Magic Mosaics and an Old English Style (hydraulic pressure) Water Pump . The lightest touch on the lifting of the Pump Handle allows the water to flow from the Pump Head ; this then flows gently across the Magic Mosaics into a secret drain . This feature offers the children , endless hours of pleasure in using the pump and paddling in the water . The Magic Mosaics are very beautiful “per se” but the children see a new dimension to the Mosaics when water runs across them and the sun glistens across the whole feature .
  • Probably , the most exiting item for the children in this Junior Playground , will be the large Multi-Activity all seasons Timber Play Structure .

Timber Play Structure

This Timber Play Structure is a total “WOW FACTOR” item of a Major and Maximum Impressive Climbing , Agility and All-Adventure Action Area . Apart from endless climbing , children love circuits and chasing .   To this end , this large Timber Frame Structure features a series of Inter-Communicating Timber Platforms and Timber Walkways . These Timber Walkways are also subdivided by Jungle Bridges , Rope Leaps , a Timber Tunnel and a very extensive Climbing Web (horizontal Cargo Net ).

Centrally positioned in this Structure is a Pyramid Style Traditional Tree House ,  which contains internal Low Bench Seating. The main Timber Structure is 5 feet ( 1.50 m) high and this has steps which lead up to a 7 feet (2.10 m) high Timber Platform (for the more intrepid climbers).This platform has much higher climbing items than the 5 feet high platforms and always suits the older children. This higher platform has further steps which lead upwards to a 10 feet (3.10 m) high Timber Platform , from which is attached a massive 24 feet (7.20 m) long Polished Steel Slide.

All four sides of this Activity Structure are covered with a variety of Climbing Units , including Climbing Cargo Nets , Climbing Bars  , Climbing Wood Block Walls , Climbing Zig Zag Bars and Overhead Knotted Climbing Ropes (anchored into the ground for Health and Safety ) ; for means of rapid escapes (in Chasing Games) , 2 Firefighters poles are positioned at opposite corners of the whole structure.

Access for Teachers to this Structure , is afforded by a Timber Ramp (with hand rails)  at one corner and climbing steps (with hand Rails) at the other corner. This structure is further subdivided and interspersed with Raised Timber Planters which contain Tall Established Bamboos . These allow the children the feeling that they are “having adventures” as they are constantly surrounded by large Tropical Style Plants on their journeys throughout these Walkways.This style of Mature Planting , also allows the children a sense of “hiding” in their Adventure and Imaginative games.

Surrounding this “WOW” factor Timber Activity Unit is a lush carpet of Artificial Grass. Similar to the Wild Tyre Swing Area , the ground in this area will be dug out and prepared for Shock Pads to be laid under the Artificial Grass. For safety purposes , the area underneath this large Timber Structure , will be covered with recycled Rubber Bark chips .

  • With safety in mind , various low fences are apparent on this design , to prevent the children from running into the different “swinging” Activity items .
  • Storage of general Playground Items is available in a new Timber Storage Shed (near the Scientific Garden) .
  • An Automatic Micro Irrigation system will be installed throughout all areas .
  • With regards to Guarantees , they are as follows :

Timber Constructions

we Guarantee all our timber work for one year (but not if it were vandalised). After one year , if any repairs were required , we would make a modest charge to cover materials and labour. All our Timber Constructions are very solidly built and there is no reason for them not to last indefinitely .

Plantings

All our plants , trees and shrubs are guaranteed by our suppliers for one month. We hand select each of our chosen plants , from Nurseries we have used for over 35 years .
It is extremely rare that any of our trees or shrubs should perish . This has only happened on odd occasions in the past and was due to client neglect or lack of client care.

 If any plant is unhappy or perishing , it is obvious within the first 2 weeks of its arrival. However , as already explained , I personally visit my Nurseries and hand pick my plants from the thousands available. I have never chosen any plant which is not perfectly formed or is showing any signs of weakness. All the plants are pot grown and “potted-on” at my Nurseries , where they are daily maintained and routinely inspected.

Safety Standards

All our Timber and Play Constructions comply with EN 1176-1 (2008) and we have company labels to attach to our structures . Our slides comply with EN 1176-1 and 3 (2008) and again we have company labels to attach to our structures .

 Timber Sustainability

All our Timber is fully licensed and is supplied from Renewable Sources. All our timber is P. A. Round Timber (Planed All Round) and is thus the Highest Grade of Sustainable Timber. F.C.S. , and P.E.F.C. , certificates are enclosed with our Playground Design .

C.R.B. certificates

All our staff hold C.R.B. certificates

 

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