Lochshore Community Play: Ideas Gathering Workshops
Dress for the Weather and Urban Pioneers, in partnership with North Ayrshire Council and Garnock Connections, are currently working on designs for new play structures in Kilbirnie Public Park, Dalry Public Park and Orr’s Trust Public Park, Beith.
The project is about using play structures as a means to explore wider heritage connections across the Garnock Valley and with the new Lochshore Development at Kilbirnie Loch.
On the 7th, 8th and 9th of September we began the process with the first set of public workshops; with participants from each town. These workshops were about gathering ideas and sharing ambitions with local residents before we move on to the design.
The enthusiasm and quality of input from these three workshops has been incredibly valuable in both determining general themes but also developing specific identities and meaning within each town.
In Dalry we talked about the combination of natural and man-made; and how the mills and mines impacted the town. We also discussed waterways, landscape, routes, paths, bridges and stepping stones as a means of natural play.
The Beith workshops had a similar link to industrial growth, in this case the furniture made in the town. We talked about tree species, forests, biodiversity and how a richer ecosystems could encourage gathering in the park.
Again, the industrial, ‘productive’ heritage of Kilbirnie was discussed, alongside more active play and sports. Intergenerational play, and the opportunity for more community interaction was also important.
As a more general ambition across the three towns, the opportunity to explore increased biodiversity was clear (a link to the more natural setting of the new Lochshore Development) but the idea of inter-generational play and gathering also came across very strongly. That this project was not just about new play equipment, but an opportunity to express something more was really important.
So thanks to all who have taken part so far; there will be one final opportunity to participate in the process this Saturday (25th September) with a Design Workshop:
Kilbirnie Public Park; 10am-11.30am
Orr’s Trust Public Park, Beith; 12noon – 1.30pm
Dalry Public Park; 2pm – 3.30pm