• River Garnock 02

    Garnock Connections

    Connecting people and places within the Landscape

Lochshore Community Play: Beith Concept Workshop

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.

As part of the on-going engagement process we recently delivered the last of our planned public workshops. This workshop looked at combining the ideas from the previous two workshops as well as refining them into a concept for the play structure.

A summary of the concept at this point is included below:

The Site

Within Orr’s Trust Park we felt there was a clear definition (roughly in thirds) across the park. The eastern-most portion of the park was well served by the tennis courts and playgrounds – it was noted how well the playground in particular was used.

The middle portion of the site contains the football pitch and skatepark – both of which have great potential for continued use.

It was felt that the western-most portion of the park had the potential to form a bit of identity for itself. This portion of the site, also had the potential to connect strongly with the green edge to the park, and the views across the valley, and to the local farms.

 

Play and Gathering

We talked about the potential for this part of the park to ‘face both ways’ up to the other parks of the park but also out towards the valley. This felt like a strong place to great a gathering point for various groups.

For example we talked about how having some sort of feeling of a boundary within this space might encourage families to gather here – and to let the kids play in this part of the park as well as explore the green edge.

The young people in the workshops also felt that they were under-provided for, and that a gathering place would allow them to socialise outdoors.

We also discussed fire pits / bbq spots.

Biodiversity

This was a topic that came across strongly in all the workshops across the towns. The current thinking is we should explore the potential to influence and discuss the wider ambition for plant varieties and biodiversity within the park with the relevant stakeholders. 

Specifically in Beith we talked about the potential for a tree line to the south-west edge of the park to better enclose the site, as well as provide a bit of a barrier to the adjacent housing.

We also talked about the potential for encouraging birds into the park by accommodating them in the structure.

Heritage Connections

It was also noted that there is potentially an opportunity in the materials used to reflect the wider landscape and geology of the Garnock Valley. We did talk about historic industries, and there is potential to reflect these here; but we were also drawn to comments about local quarries and the landscape – and also looking at a more natural palette of materials to link to the Lochshore development.

We also talked about somehow representing the wider area, and/or town within the installation. We think this could be incorporated in an abstract way but explained via an online resource.

The Concept

There were a lot of nice ideas around specific activities to do with the installation. Our current thinking is to create a ‘patchwork’ of small structures, each potentially having a specific function; but also allowing a flexibility for different uses.

These would be positioned close to each other to form connections and spaces in between. This would give a flexibility for a number of different groups to gather at the same time; but also act as a space for larger group/community events.

We would explore introducing some more varied ground finishes, and potentially introducing some grass mounds to work with these smaller structures.

In terms of a ‘green layer’, we think forming the tree/meadow edge as noted above would be a strong idea.

Moving forward we will be preparing concept designs for public comment. Details of this will be shared in due course.

If you were not aware of the project, but would like to know more about the process, please contact either Jenny Baker at North Ayrshire Council (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Matt at Dress for the Weather (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Designed and built by Mucky Puddle