Archive for 07/08/2013


David Kemp’s ‘Hounds of Geevor’ taking a stroll over Botallack clifftops…These hounds are made from tin miners boots that were left behind in the mines after they closed down. A pack of these hounds have been cast in bronze (mixture of Cornish tin and copper) and stand in Redruth town centre (used to be the mining centre of Cornwall, UK).

From Growveg


WP_20130805_021It’s ‘Play Day’ in England today, so I thought it would be appropriate to report on my recent visit to the new Olympic Park Play Area in Stratford, London.

The ‘Tumbling Bay’ play space has just opened in the north of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Designed by LUC and Erect Architecture, the space is the core social area for this part of the Park, which opens fully next April. It aims to provide a facility of use to both visitors to the area as well as the growing new residential community in the area and local workers.

The naturalistic play space is based on ecological concepts of succession and life cycles and is laid out along a newly created valley, with a new ‘Timber Lodge’ café and community hub at one end. I must say that I was impressed with what I saw.

Given the heavy use this area is likely to see and that it is unsupervised, the designers and builders have done a great job at maximising natural play opportunities in an urban setting. I think children of all ages will be able to get something from it. At one end a climbing structure consisting of natural, rough finish timber bridges, ascents ,plus net walkways and other nooks and crannies is an exciting physical circuit for mainly physical play. The structures here are not so much designed on the drawing board as created on the spot – at least that’s how they look, with rough-hewn timber providing a wonderful variety of opportunities for climbing, clambering, crawling, walking and just sitting around.

This wood- strewn area gives way to an area dominated by a river delta – ilke landscape of gullies, pools and waterways. These are fed by a number of hand pumps and can be dammed at various points. And there are also spots offering a mix of sand and water play. The use of what seems to be blocks of natural (sand?) stone and sculpted landforms (made of composite materials?) conveys a natural look that could have been here for decades. Apparently the sand and water play area was inspired by the history of the River Lea and its industrial past. The arrangement of pumps and dams encourages children to experiment with water flows, work in groups and pump sufficient water to dam and divert water through the natural rock pools, rivulets and channels, filling a series of shallow pools and sand boxes along the way.

Finally, and running up to the cafe, is an area where water gives way to sand – dominated play, featuring a hanging conveyor system using sections of tyre and allowing children to move quantities of sand around the area. There are also a number of chunky wooden and gabion structures that are at different times seats, walkways or climbing features. I particularly liked the use of simple planed timber planking set around in odd places in the floorscape with grooves cut at right angles. I guess these are to provide a varied, grippy surface, but can also be a great little place for the very young to experiment with sand and water and other loose materials.

There are also some young hazel woodland copses where, in due course, children will be able to explore and build dens, hunt for bugs and get their hands dirty. The copses adjoin some ‘pine forest’ areas which run up against the timber play area. The curving form of the play area and its use of planting makes it blend in beautifully with the adjoining parkland landscape, avoiding the problem of all too many play spaces that stand out as colourful, metal-dominated, jarring places amidst surrounding greenery. The lack of fencing, but use of planting, land form and a variety of different log slice/trunk footways to provide barriers and create entrance and exit channels should also encourage children to play in the surrounding grassy and planted areas.

It is free to visit the parklands, cafe and playground. We enjoyed a lovely cup of coffee served by smiling staff at the new social enterprise – run cafe and events centre, which seemed to be doing a steady trade in these early days. I was interested to see that local primary schools have already contributed to displays in the Centre and this sign of community involvement is an early indicator of it becoming a successful community hub.  As you can see from the photographs, we were there early in the day, so only a few children were around. On our way home we passed lots of families with children who looked as though they were on their way to the park and play area.

If you get the chance it’s well worth a visit!

Old School Gardener

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post and others on this blog, why not comment and join others by signing up for automatic updates via email (see side bar, above right ) or through an RSS feed (see top of page)?


We live our lives below the trees, surround by their arms, and shaded by their leaves.  Yet we rarely stop and give much thought to the beauty that is a leaf.

View original post

Shine A Light

By Dayna Woolbright

Fortunately crate 20 didn’t contain any witches but it did contain something equally as mysterious.

Crate 20 contained a lot of textile objects, mainly a selection of rugs and carpets but it also revealed another somewhat larger textile item which was folded into a large square. In its folded state we had no clues about what the item could be but from its size we suspected that once unfurled what ever it was would be huge! Due to the limited processing space in the superstore it was a few weeks before we had a chance to fully look at the object and fortunately this opportunity coincided with a visit from staff working in Norfolk Museums and Archaeology’s textile department, Social History curator Cathy Terry and head of conservation Man-Yee Liu.

Man-Yee assessed the textile and concluded it was in a good condition and stable enough to work…

View original post 1,016 more words

Finding Nature

Nature Connectedness Research Blog by Prof. Miles Richardson

Norfolk Green Care Network

Connecting People with Nature

Discover WordPress

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

Susan Rushton

Celebrating gardens, photography and a creative life

Daniel Greenwood

Unlocking landscapes

Alphabet Ravine

Lydia Rae Bush Poetry


Australian Pub Project, Established 2013

Vanha Talo Suomi

a harrowing journey of home improvement & garden renovation

Bits & Tidbits


Rambling in the Garden

.....and nurturing my soul

The Interpretation Game

Cultural Heritage and the Digital Economy


Sense of place, purpose, rejuvenation and joy


Notes from the Gardeners...

Deep Green Permaculture

Connecting People to Nature, Empowering People to Live Sustainably


A girl and her garden :)



%d bloggers like this: