Thameside Nature Park Themed Play Area


A Contest In Play Area Design

Essex Wildlife Trust, Thameside Nature Park, asked leading play apparatus designers to come up with a proposal for an outdoor play area appropriate to the site. Opened July 2014, our design – which is deeply involved with the history and the ethos of the site – is constructed in untreated, green oak which will grey down to match the adjacent Visitor Centre. The site has a history of gravel extraction and landfill, along with notable wildlife, and we incorporated both of these themes heavily into our design.

Shown here is the design we submitted that was chosen ahead of all others.

A Site Steeped In History

A themed play area, this unique installation tells the story of the history of the site, with a replica of the barge Anglia which hit the Mucking Lighthouse at Mucking Wharf in 1954, resulting in its eventual demolition in 1956 – Was the skipper lost or just drunk? The design features a barge, a boardwalk, mudbanks, a lighthouse, cranes, diggers, and a quarry, offering huge amounts of play potential.

As with all our designs, this is a unique construction which appeals to adults and children alike, and is intended to help to raise the profile of the Visitor Centre.


The Opening Ceremony

It was a delight to be present when the play area was opened for the very first time as we got to see children (and adults) enjoying the play area. It is moments such as these than make us very proud of what we do and encourage us to keep going with the pursuit of creating imaginative and engaging play apparatus.


Visitor Feedback

The following comments are taken from public TripAdvisor reviews:

  • ‘fabulous kids play area out the front. We will definitely return!’ NichaUk
  • ‘fantastic play area for the youngster’ Smiff679
  • ‘We went with our 3 year old grandson, who loved the play equipment. Great to see this there, so even if you’re not that keen on spotting wildlife it’s still well worth a visit.’ CityBoy50
  • ‘Great for kids: Excellent play area and lots of space to play.’ Craig C
  • ‘Grandchildren love it here with the play area’ tr7girl
  • ‘What an amazing place. The play area is wonderful for youngsters imagination.’ louishaw
  • ‘Children loved the play area.’ Una M
  • ‘We spent three hours with my children playing, climbing and running around and a wonderful time was had by all of us.’ Helen G

Designing Your Perfect Play Area

Please use this project, as well as our other outdoor play areas and replica landmarks, to get inspiration for your own creation. As you can see from the photos, the children love it and have found immense play value from the playground. Seeing children this happy, loving what we have made, is one of the most rewarding parts of designing and manufacturing play equipment – it keeps us on our toes and it excites us to push ourselves further in the future.

Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us to discuss your own project and we will be happy to talk you through the design process.

For pricing information, please refer to our pricing page or get in contact with us to make an enquiry and discuss a potential project.