A new playground brings added excitement and enjoyment for younger visitors at Hamptonne Country Life Museum. The project, which has been designed with early years children in mind, was made possible with financial support from HSBC, whose staff also helped complete the final installation and landscaping.
The playground has been created by Bristol-based specialists The Green Play Project whose proposal was selected from a shortlist of three design bids in a competitive tender process. Jersey Heritage commissioned the work as part of its continued investment in Hamptonne and other landmark heritage sites in Jersey. Key to the brief was producing an area where children can enjoy the fun and freedom of self-led discovery. The features of the playground had to reference both the architecture of the site and traditions of cider manufacture and bee keeping.
An emphasis on the use of natural materials and organic forms has ensured that the play area sits comfortably within the landscape. Built on two levels, the lower area encourages movement with a focus on climbing, balance and coordination. A trail of challenges is formed from monkey bars, balance beams, a scramble net, upturned apple crates and cider barrels. An attractive wooden den on the bank can be reached by scaling a series of stepping logs – a slide offers a quicker route of descent.
Two sets of steps present different routes to the upper area, where on one side there is a lookout arbour and willow den. The alternative pathway takes you through a hexagonal gateway where a sleeper path leads to two further willow dens, one in the shape of an apple and another like a straw bee keeping skep. Here you can also play the traditional game of quoits, where the aim is to throw a ring from a distance onto wooden pegs.
Chris Addy, Sites Curator at Jersey Heritage said “Hamptonne Country Life Museum is one of our iconic heritage sites, popular with people of all ages whether visiting for a taste of life in days gone by or to just relax and enjoy the beautiful environment. This new playground will add to the enjoyment and excitement for our younger explorers.”
Sharon Slade, Head of Sustainability for HSBC, added “HSBC is delighted we’ve been able to help provide the new playground. It’s been made possible thanks to HSBC’s Supporting our Community funding programme, which allows our employees to submit a bid for funding projects in their local community. Volunteering is also a big part of the programme. More than 70 of our people will give over 400 hours volunteering to complete work in the garden at Hamptonne.”
Hamptonne Country Life Museum gives the visitor a unique insight into the rural life carried on in Jersey for centuries. The 2017 visitor season begins this Saturday 27 May and the site opens daily from 10am to 5pm, until 10 September.