Ness Country Park

Northern Ireland Tourist Board

London Derry, Northern Ireland

Spring 2019

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A visually striking natural playspace in Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland tourist board approached us to create a bespoke design proposal for a new play space located at Ness Country Park. The proposed location was of outstanding natural beauty, consisting of 55 hectares of woodland and open parkland running along the Burntollet River.

The aim of the new play development at Ness Country Park was to increase visitor numbers to the site, encouraging families to come and enjoy days out at the park. The brief for the project touched on three main requirements - to reflect the surroundings of the park, create a real sense of exploration and to appeal universally to visitors of all ages.

The feature piece of this installation was a large, robust robinia and rope climbing structure. The design of the ‘riverbed scramble’ alluded to children embarking on a challenging physical adventure along the river bed. The addition of beautiful blue staining to the vertical robinia posts throughout the design helped to enhance the theme of the river throughout the structure. This was complimented by an accessible teepee and fort climbing structure featuring an exciting trail of balance beams as well as a slide to provide an exhilarating experience for children.

The finished product

A similar project to this would cost £147,000

A selection of ever popular swings were also an important part of the design providing an alternative means of play for users to the space. The feature swings included which aim to ensure inclusivity were two types of basket swings as well as the visually striking giant pendulum swing.

A further feeling of wonder was achieved through the addition of a beautiful range of carved animal sculptures across the site, reflecting the wildlife of the local area. The last major element within the design was a large communal picnic shelter offering a covered seating space with great views of the park for visitors to relax, socialise and eat lunch.

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