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Wooden walkway in forest with Timotay Playscapes logo overlaid

Victoria Primary School

In order to meet the needs of children and the requirements of outdoor play, then a natural environment and natural play is a must for schools and nurseries. Timotay specialise in creating this type of natural play environment and encouraging children to learn about their environment.

The Victoria Primary School had typical tarmac playgrounds for outdoor activities, but lacked anywhere natural. Their brief was to develop part of the school site that was unmanaged and inaccessible. This area had trees and mature shrubs, but a lot of weed and bramble infestation that had got out of hand. Although it had all the makings of a wild garden it needed careful development to make real use of the space and offer different challenges in a natural setting.

The brief for Timotay was to come up with a natural playground design that was sympathetic to the environment but opened the area to the children. Apart from the benefits to the school, managing a nature garden also offers a safe habitat to local wildlife.

The natural playground design brought about a natural outdoor classroom, where children can learn skills and develop confidence and self awareness. There are two significant features within the natural garden; the treetop walkway and the pond.

The treetop walkway is hidden within the trees and affords views over the natural garden and offers a completely different perspective for observing. The pond has a timber boardwalk that makes it DDA accessible from the main playground.

This natural garden offers a hands-on experience to discover more about the natural environment. This natural garden is enclosed by a fence and this both protects the environment and ensures that it is accessed when there is full supervision. Whether as an outdoor classroom and teaching facility, or whether somewhere to explore and have fun, a natural garden is an experience every child should have.

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