Revitalising Doveridge’s Fitness Area
A fitness area is a great way to get kids engaged with the idea of exercise early on in life. During our previous visit to Doveridge in 2014, we fitted a brand new collection of playground fitness equipment for them, but when we re-visited them the ground was in an unfortunate state of muddy disrepair. Poor surfacing is the most common cause of underutilised areas in the playground, so to get the most for your money we’d always recommend considering surfacing options if they’re in your budget.
This time around, Doveridge were eager to get the surfacing problem seen to, but they also wanted to expand on their fitness area with new and exciting elements to challenge the children. Having consulted with the staff and the children about what they’d like from the new equipment, our design team put together a brand new Trim Trail for them. In continuing the fitness theme this option made the most sense, as it would further challenge the children’s development in areas that would work in synergy with the fitness equipment that Doveridge already had in place.
The Trim Trail design included a Missouri Bridge, some Stepping Stumps, Hanging Tyres, a single Balance Beam, a Tunnel Net and a Log Walk Weaver. It was our hope that this combination would test the balance, agility and co-ordination of the children while the prior fitness equipment would continue to work on their strength and flexibility.
But all of this is for nought if the children can’t use the area, so to repair the muddy ground we dug the area out, added a stone base for drainage, and then surfaced the entire section in rustic rubber mulch. This would both fulfil the safety requirements of the new equipment and provide an all-weather surface for the children to make use of the equipment all year round.