Unique natural play area unveiled at Kettering’s Wicksteed Park

A unique, new natural play area has been created at Kettering's Wicksteed Park

A unique, new natural play area has been created at Kettering's Wicksteed Park

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A play area which uses windblown trees to inspire children to take part in imaginative and adventurous play has been unveiled at Kettering’s Wicksteed Park.

The attraction, based next to the newly-restored lake, has been created by national outdoor play experts Alastair Guy and Sons, who have worked with other major destinations such as The Eden Project in Cornwall.

The free play area, located just below the park’s camping field, uses trees and other natural materials to create a place for climbing, jumping and balancing.

It is suitable for a variety of ages and is the first of what the park hopes will be numerous similar play areas around the lake.

The new area was created to match the vision of Charles Wicksteed, who invented the modern day slide and swing and who founded Wicksteed Park as part of his vision to inspire and encourage play as part of families’ health and well-being.

A spokesman for the park said: “It is one of a number of new activity areas aimed at inspiring families to get out and enjoy the fresh air in the 147-acre country park.

“New attractions completed as part of the £2 million Lottery-funded lake refurbishment include a beach, a paddling area for toddlers, a 90 metre pontoon and improve lakeside walkways.

“Elsewhere in the park, bund play tunnels are being constructed out of natural materials to encourage children to crawl and explore and the RUSH activity tower, including one of the UK’s tallest and longest zip wires, has just opened.

“Other new attractions include a Bah Humbug hand-made sweet shop, Waxhands hand modelling and a refurbished café.”

Events at the park this autumn include Wickscream Park two themed walk through Hallowe’en events.

Wicksteed Park Managing Director Alasdair McNee said: “Charles Wicksteed was a pioneer in the field of children’s play and the park has a wonderful heritage and history, which is rightly celebrated.

“Whilst acknowledging that, we are now trying to maintain that reputation for new and innovative play, to ensure that the park continues to evolve.

“The new natural play area is in response to customers’ feedback and research. It is free and is great for inspiring children to have a healthy, active lifestyle as well as using their imagination and improving their physical skills.”

For more information, visit www.wicksteedpark.org.