Greenwich Park Play Area

Matthew Wigan Associates were commissioned by The Royal Parks to complete the refurbishment of the play area in Greenwich Park.

We worked closely with the local community, including Greenwich Parent Voice, a group of parents with children with special educational needs or disabilities, to ensure that the layout is as inclusive as possible for children of all ages and abilities.

Inclusivity is built into the design, while retaining challenging and fun elements. Improved surfacing to routes will provide better access. Play equipment that can accommodate a range of abilities has been selected. Sand and water play provides a focal point that all children can enjoy, encouraging collaborative and creative play. 

The water play feature comprises a boulder-strewn channel fed with water from hand-operated pumps. Gates set in the channel bed allow the water to be dammed to create shallow pools, which can be released in sudden flows. The water flows into the sand area between rounded boulders, so that children can create their own dams and channels.

An inclusive basket swing, roundabout and butterfly seesaw provide play opportunities for a range of abilities. Wooden sailing boats respond to the coastal theme of the sand and water play area, encouraging imaginative and collaborative play.

The  planting provides opportunities for sensory play and exploration, while preserving sightlines. Local children were involved in the planting of grasses, bamboo, and multi-stem hazel shrubs. With scented flowers and attractive textures, the planting will provide a sensory interaction with nature and seasonal interest.

The scheme was financially supported by the London Marathon Charitable Trust, and construction was completed by landscape contractors iDverde, in July 2019.