Article published on 8 August 2022

Proludic was delighted to be asked to design and deliver an exemplary themed playground taking inspiration from the River Soar for Barrow upon Soar Parish Council.

From the outset, they wanted to realise a dynamic themed playground to reflect the beautiful natural surroundings and sense of river life offered on this elongated outdoor play area close to the waterway.

With its meandering route, the river offered up an abundance of wildlife for our designers to take cues from such as families of ducks and glistening lily pads as well as the brightly decorated barges that are moored up on the river.

We wanted to incorporate a lot of the things that you see on the river within the play area. So, we’ve got the red, green and grey boat designed in the same style as a narrow boat. It (the park) was inspired by the creatures on the river, ducks, frogs and also foliage like lily pads and the river itself which we incorporated. We took the fun elements of the river and put them into the play area.

Dan Baxter, Proludic Designer

Our aim for this project was to deliver an engaging themed site that was also challenging for the use of children of all ages and abilities. Inclusivity was an important part of the client’s brief, and this equipment was included in the final design. We incorporated innovative play equipment choices from products recently launched to the market by Proludic which included a centrepiece nautical-themed Multiplay unit.

The river and nature were replicated into the thermographic and wetpour surfacing of the play area with graphics of lily pads, creatures that inhabit the area and a winding river running throughout the length of the play area. This is all brought together with a large boat multiplay unit which had the colours adapted to resemble the nearby canal boats. The canal boat was also adapted to include a plaque to showcase its name ‘The Barrow Kipper’. This vessel now takes its unusual name from the remains of a Plesiosaur fossil (originally named Plesiosaurus macrocephalus) found in Barrow upon Soar in 1851, known as the Barrow Kipper.

We also provided a storytime retreat area outside the play space for children to take a break from playing in the fenced area. Whether children are looking for a rest or a quiet space that is still close enough to take part by observing other children while also taking time away from the main hustle and bustle of the play space. This is ideal for children with cognitive conditions such as autism.

The design was presented back to them in a concept booklet and fly through which the Parish Council found useful in enabling them to visualise the finished area. 

We contacted several different play park installation companies, gave them the same brief and Proludic produced the best plans. Not only did they produce two-dimensional plans, but they produced a video showing a flythrough of what the park might be like when it was fully installed…..Proludic was a very professional company. They produced plans and layouts to a very timely timetable.

Anne Beckett, Parish Councillor for Barrow upon Soar

To find out more about our themed play options and standard ranges then please click here.


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