Rushden Lakes Shopping Centre is a unique place to shop, eat, and explore, offering a world of outdoor discovery at the gateway to the Nene Wetlands. It combines a modern shopping centre with the natural world, promoting the environment – something that we are happy to be a part of. As part of the development, they asked us to build a series of rustic play areas that would be in keeping with the natural appearance of the venue.
We made several different nature and animal themed play areas located in different parts of the outdoor environment, as well as a series of animal carvings and giant animal sculptures. Below you will find more information and photos of each piece of play apparatus.
Heron’s Nest Climb Tower
Modelled on a heron’s nest with hand woven branches, we built a play tower that features two different access routes – an angled step log and a ladder. Nearby we built two split log rustic picnic tables so that parents can rest whilst children play. Inside the nest, children are delighted to find a clutch of giant heron eggs that are being watched over by metal heron sculptures.
Sinking Ship With Step Poles
This sinking ship packs in play potential, offering handholds to serve as an angled climbing wall, as well as having an opening to allow children to enter the disappearing vessel. It connects to stepping poles styled as reeds, allowing children to traverse the ship to the reeds and back again.
Spider Climb With Web Net
Hand carved, this menacing giant spider is actually a piece of climbing apparatus, offering children the opportunity to climb its legs. Behind the spider are string webs – rope traverses – and a spider web climb net. As all the items are connected, children can traverse from the net to the ropes to the spider itself. See the video below for a walk-around of the area.
Otter’s Den With Tunnels
This otters den features a platform upon a mound with a slide and two hand carved otters. Underneath the mound there are three tunnels for children to crawl through. The video below shows you a full walk-around of the area.
Other Creations At Rushden Lakes
These four nature themed play areas aren’t all we have made at Rushden Lakes. We also made some covered picnic seating, a pond dipping platform, a series of giant animal sculptures, and a collection of animal carvings that now reside within the trees.
Create Your Perfect Natural Play Area
Use this project as inspiration for your own project, and don’t be afraid to push the creative boundaries. We managed to create four very different play environments, each packing in lots of play potential, at Rushden Lakes and we relish the challenge of further pushing our creative skills. Get in touch with us today to let us know what you are looking for and let us bring your natural setting to life with play apparatus that will be remembered. For further inspiration, take a look at our other outdoor play areas.