It was a year in the making, but the new play area created by York’s own Playscheme for Paddington Recreation Ground is now open.
The partnership between Westminster City Council’s Physical Activity, Leisure & Sports (PALS) team, Ruth Willmott Associates and Elvington-based Playscheme resulted in an epic project.
It took five whole months to build and Playscheme was delighted to put their creativity into practice on such a scale.
Come on a tour of the playground’s main areas which cater to different ages, abilities and needs.
The Playscheme team are well used to designing bespoke play areas that keep the little ones happy, and Paddington is no exception.
The Beachcroft Gardens terrace comprises seven pastel-coloured houses that hug the footpath in a suitably Instagram-worthy fashion.
Who doesn’t love playing trains? Paddington Station is made from Jesmonite brick and is complete with sign, counter and bench, encouraging children to role-play. Oh, and there’s a train of course!
An artificial grass play mound with a polycarbonate dome, has stepping stones, a durable slide and a tunnel going right through the middle!
The usual playground favourites also make an appearance in the infants’ play area:
• A double width stainless steel slide
• Scramble net
• Climbing wall
• Hexagrip platforms
• A triple swing set comprising one tango and two senior swings
Sensory play space
“One of our key mantras is to make play accessible to everyone and sensory play spaces are a brilliant way for children to get hands on, bringing all their senses to the fore,” said Nick Chandler, special projects manager at Playscheme.
“Paddington Recreation Ground’s sensory space has both kids and grownups in mind, with its pretty Perspex panelled pergola, sensory panels, and a textured and ramped footpath that’s fully wheelchair and pushchair accessible.”
Playing on the senses of touch & sound, the sensory play area helps children bring music to life, with a variety of instruments:
• Cadenza (like a xylophone)
• Babel drum
• Soprano pentatonic (free chimes)
The junior area
The star of the show in the junior play area is the steamliner, made in York and transported to London for assembly on site.
The steamliner is a monster – 8.5 metres long! It has a powder-coated steel frame, with a 1.2m scramble net, a double-width stainless steel slide and its own mascot – a little bear sitting on a suitcase at the back of the ship.
“The ship sits on a colourful blue wet pour rubber surface. These are always popular, as they have some spring in them and work well even in the typical British winter weather,” said Nick.
The rubber surface at Paddington has additional seafaring decoration too, with three turtles, a swordfish & a whale adding the aquatic touch.