Lochshore Community Play: Play 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 18th of September we ran public workshops in each of the public parks; with participants from each town. These workshops were exploring types of play in the park, and how these structures would fit in to this.
We looked at the parks themselves – the layout, planting, equipment etc. as well as undertook an exercise exploring appropriate space for play and locations within each park.
In all of the workshops there was the sense that the new play structure should provide a degree of flexibility – being able to be used by a range of age groups, and allow for more of a ‘free play’ concept. There was also a general feeling that in order for the structure to be inter-generational (an outcome from the first workshops) then it had to also act as somewhere to gather.
For example in Kilbirnie we talked about the advantage of the structure being located in the basin of the park – meaning that the structure was overlooked, but that parents and grandparents could be comfortable supervising children. There was also the idea that a more communal structure could link in with more active play in the park – for example a starting point for park walks or links to the football pitch.
The Beith workshop explored the idea of how smaller clusters of ‘things’ could act as a single, larger, arena for play. But also allow smaller groups their own space to gather. We also talked about a ‘gateway’ to the more natural edge of the park and the views.
In Dalry we spoke about natural play, and improving the connection to the nature generally. We also spoke about the desire for gathering as part of this. There are various locations in the park that may prove suitable for these ideas – including a connection to the river or the basin in the park.
This Saturday’s workshops will process all of this information into concepts for each of the three play structures.
Thanks to all who have taken part so far; we are looking forward to continuing the process this Saturday (25th September) with the Concept Workshop:
Kilbirnie Public Park; 10am-11.30am
Orr’s Trust Public Park, Beith; 12noon – 1.30pm
Dalry Public Park; 2pm – 3.30pm