Proposals for exciting new ‘natural play space’ on Southampton Common approved20th January 2016
Grassy mounds, tunnels, boulders, beaches, water play, playful planting, timber decking, a tree house and bridges – these are all things that could be incorporated into a brand-new nature play space proposed for Southampton Common, which will replace the existing outdated paddling pool and play area. The scheme, approved today by Cabinet, will create an exciting play destination for children and families.
Southampton City Council have appointed RHS Gold Medal and BBC People’s Choice Award winning landscape architects, Davies White, to design the facility. Over the coming months Davies White will engage with local schools and user groups, through model making sessions and hands on design workshops, which will result in a scale model of the scheme and a website showcasing the plans.
The proposals will also safeguard the facility for future generations by making it more sustainable, as maintenance requirements will be reduced and lifeguards would no longer need to be on duty. This would also mean the new area would be able to open for extended periods of good weather throughout the year and just not restricted to the summer months as at present.
Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, Councillor Jacqui Rayment, said: "We have worked with partners to improve the play areas across Southampton at St James' Park in Shirley and Houndwell Park, so we felt that the Common, which is used by people from across the Southampton and further afield, is the ideal location to continue this project. This overhaul of facilities will provide a state of the art play space that can be enjoyed for years to come”.
Director of Davies White Ltd, Adam White, added: "We design each of our play spaces to create a sense of place, unique to anywhere else and we make sure they offer reasonable risk allowing children to explore their own imagination and reconnect with nature and wildlife. Forget metal equipment and multi-coloured rubber surfaces, the Davies White approach rejects preconceived notions of a playground in favour of a more natural approach to play”.
Davies White plan to begin consultation on their proposals from Spring 2016, with construction work planned to start at the beginning of 2017.
Davies White - Bars
Davies White - Climbing Trees
Davies White - Giant Nests