Making a play area accessible

 Making a play area accessible

Client: Oxford City Council

Project: Path through South Park play area

Department: Landscape

Date of completion: 23/02/2020

Budget: £17,000

Background 

We were asked to make the play and seating area of South Park more accessible throughout the year. Historically this is a wet site over winter months causing access issues. This was mainly due to excessive amounts of surface water under low tree canopies predominantly over the wet/winter months.

Why ODS

We have intensive knowledge about this park, its users and equipment within the site and work closely with the green spaces development team. In addition, our in-house tree surveyors can provide advice on how to proceed without causing damage to existent flora.

Challenge

  • The client initially wanted a hogging path but due to the site having very established trees we were advised by our tree surveyors that this would cause considerable stress to the said trees.
  • We were not able to dig in the area we needed to and a lot of roots were out of the ground and any damage to the root system of the trees could affect the trees health.
  • The client wanted the path to look natural and not stand out too much.

Solution

  • We advised our clients that the path needed a material that didn’t need any digging out and was flexible for movement to aid the roots and also needed to be permeable to allow the water to drain away quickly and give the roots a much needed drink. We decided on rubber mulch (eco-surface) that is flexible and holds in place and used a brown and sand mix type to keep it looking natural.
  • South Park play area can now be used all year round even in adverse weather conditions. Buggies and wheelchair users can easily access the two seating areas from either entrance.
  • The path is free from water due to the new path being raised above ground level.
  • In addition, the trees were undamaged and continue providing a valuable asset and aesthetic look to the site.

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