Have your say on Sherwood Forest playground scheme

Sam McGeever, creative director at Infinite Playgrounds, encourages youngsters to develop their ideas about play equipment on an earlier project.
Sam McGeever, creative director at Infinite Playgrounds, encourages youngsters to develop their ideas about play equipment on an earlier project.

Youngsters and parents are being asked to share their ideas on play equipment to help shape an new play area at Sherwood Forest.

Award-winning playground design and build company Infinite Playgrounds is leading the consultation, having been chosen to provide the new playground to be built alongside the new visitor centre opening next summer.

A consultation event is being held in the activity room at the current visitor centre on Wednesday, October 25, from 10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30-3.30pm.

Rachel Wheeler, RSPB education, families and youth manager, said partners had been impressed with the company’s previous work, and are excited by the prospect of what they will come up with for Robin Hood’s home.

She said: “They have a really imaginative approach to design and have previously designed and made some great examples of playgrounds in other forests and country parks.

“Our vision for the playground is one based on the Robin Hood legend, made largely of wood, which will sit comfortably in this wonderful woodland setting.

“The consultation is about finding out what its end-users will want from it – to learn from the children and families who visit the forest frequently about how they like to play, and what pieces of equipment they would like to see.

“Infinitive Playgrounds obviously have some great ideas already and we’re really keen to see what members of the public will bring to the project through the consultation.”

Sam McGeever, Infinite creative director, will be attending the consultation along with chainsaw artist Sandy Inkster, who produces sculptural pieces which complement the play equipment.

Mr McGeever said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working at Sherwood Forest.

“Inspired by the natural environment, our unique approach is to work with and mimic nature to provide a natural place where children of all ages can gain a healthy sense of the world.

“We are looking forward to hearing the ideas of the local community and turning imagination into tangible play sculptures.

“With a landscape and rich history as wonderful as Sherwood Forest’s, we’re confident this one will be something to shout about.”

The event will include some outline ideas for children and their carers to comment on as well as some examples of play equipment used at other sites, to see what’s preferred.

The current playground sits within the area of the forest designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, as does the current visitor centre, which is why both are being relocated to Forest Corner.

Funding for the new area is being provided by Nottinghamshire County Council.

Councillor Gordon Wheeler, vice-chairman of the council’s community and place committee, said: “The new visitor centre will be a major investment for this world-famous country park.

“As part of this much-awaited development, a new play area will be a welcome addition, thanks to £40,000 worth of funding from the council, specifically allocated to help improve facilities in the local community.

“I encourage people to go along to the event and have their say on how the new play area should look.”

The consortium responsible for the new visitor centre is led by RSPB, in partnership with the council, and includes Sherwood Forest Trust, Continuum Attractions, Thoresby Estate and new associate partners, The Woodland Trust.

More information about the new visitor centre project is available at www.visitsherwood.co.uk