Pensthorpe Natural Park
Pensthorpe Natural Park in Fakenham has been a well-known attraction in the heart of North Norfolk since 1988. For the past decade, it has been hugely dedicated to improving its family offering to encourage and inspire younger visitors to interact with the great outdoors, learn about nature and play their part in conservation. This gradual process has involved several interactive learning initiatives from pond dipping and den building to the WildRootz Passport with its bug, stamp and camouflage trails; all of which aim to get children excited by the natural world. Their magnificent 2 acre adventure play area, WildRootz, truly reinforces their ethos of inspiring the younger generation. With rolling hills, a meandering stream and over 30 individual pieces of play equipment, the playground offers experiential play opportunities for all ages and abilities. Timberplay were used as the main contractor to manage the development of the site and provide a number of eye-catching, innovative and robust Timberplay products from Richter Spielgeräte.
Pensthorpe Commercial Manager, Mark Noble, comments on the decision to include the new play area:-
“What we were looking for was a playground that was unlike any other playground you can find in parks around the UK, something that stood out and reflected our values. The intention was for WildRootz to support children in getting in touch with nature, interacting with other children and also involving parents to provide a great family play experience. Although we have historically offered a number of child focused activities, we were well aware that the playground serves as a terrific draw and were keen to make our play area an exceptional one to get our visitors and the community talking.”
WildRootz has certainly done just that with a wide selection of equipment for younger and older children set within a beautifully landscaped area. A significant amount of the play equipment can be used by large groups of children at any one time – ideal for reducing frustrating queues! Children can climb and clamber around the play area by means of large and challenging Climbing Forests or swoop, soar and race alongside one another on 1 of 2 Cableways. Toddlers are catered for with a number of play huts, tractor and trailer and a gigantic sand area which delights children of all ages. A combination of sound play equipment, for example wind pipes, dendrophone and triangles provides stimulation for children of all abilities and also creates an attractive audio element.
The rich play value of the site is celebrated with the use of felled trees to create stepping logs; large birds nest features and smooth glacial boulders which add interest to the site and pleasant places for parents to rest. They are one of only a few sites that have a large See-Saw Platform, which can accommodate many children at one time, encouraging better interaction. It is also irresistible to adults who simply have to climb up to have a go themselves.
Mark Noble concludes:-
“We need to work hard to inspire younger generations, creating excitement to help them understand and appreciate the value of nature, in order to create the next generation of wildlife enthusiasts. With the playground we have achieved what we set out to do, creating a space that has got people talking, and once drawn in by the playground they also go on to explore the rest of the site and learn more about conservation. Our visitor numbers are significantly up and the feedback has been great.”
- Pensthorpe Natural Park
- United Kingdom
- NR21 0LN