RoSPA international conference to promote play in the great outdoors


More playgrounds should take their inspiration from the natural environment, was the message at the International Play Safety Conference hosted by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents on June 14.

The aim of the conference was to help play providers think beyond fixed equipment, such as metal climbing frames and seesaws, and to look for ways of incorporating more natural elements into the spaces they oversee.

Delegates heard how stimulating, landscaped play areas set on different levels with a greater use of wood and the inclusion of plants, trees and soil, can be created in both urban and rural areas.

David Yearley, Head of Play Safety at RoSPA, said: "Children have an affinity with the natural environment and can learn a lot about the world through playing and interacting with it.

"By looking at ways of incorporating natural elements into equipped play spaces, we can ensure that even children living in urban areas have the opportunity to benefit from this experience.

"Such playgrounds, which should be as safe as necessary, rather than as safe as possible, are not only great fun, but also enable children to encounter the materials and natural features they are likely to experience throughout their lives. Children are therefore able to learn about potential risks and equip themselves with the skills necessary to deal with them."

The conference, held at Holywell Park, Loughborough University, also included a workshop on the debate surrounding the provision of facilities for equipment such as mini-motorbikes, skateboards, inline skates and wheeled trainers.

Delegates attending the conference included those with responsibility for playgrounds, parks and open spaces, as well as indoor play operators, holiday park operators and environmental health officers.

Source and more information:

Share this page