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Set in the heart of the Derbyshire Peak District, Darwin Forest Country Park is a 5 Star holiday park benefiting from a newly installed, exciting and attractive, adventure play area for its visitors to enjoy.

The Issue

With the desire to develop a new play area for children of all ages, Darwin Forest Country Park wanted to undergo a complete refurbishment of its woodland playground.

The Resolution

To create a ‘wow factor’ upon arrival, the remit was to design a completely new adventure play area in a forest setting, with scope for future development. Being one of the UK’s top holiday parks, competition for the contract was fierce; Darwin Forest was keen to award the work to a supplier that could create an exciting, attractive and cost effective adventure playground.

The Process

Given its forest setting, the Park sought a company with green credentials to fulfil its requirements. Having looked at Sovereign’s range of wooden play equipment, the Park felt the products could be in keeping with its natural environment.

Contact was made and Area Manager, Andy McKay, visited the site to discuss the Park’s requirements in detail.

Sovereign’s variety of wooden playground equipment ticked all the boxes and after listening to the brief, a plan was developed alongside visual designs for the new woodland adventure area.

Two of Sovereign’s best sellers were chosen; the Captain Mannering and Jumbo Jungle Climber. Bespoke designs were also produced to allow for a double bumpy slide on the Captain Mannering. This, together with the Jumbo Jungle Climber, provided the positive impact the Park was looking for. For the younger children, the Sovereign Express and Coal Carriage were selected. The play area was finished off with the addition of seating for parents.

The Installation

Once the designs were approved, the order was placed and levelling, clearance and grounds-works were carried out by the Park’s workforce in preparation for the installation of the new play equipment. Sovereign’s installation team then swung into action to carry out the installation over a two-week period.

The Captain Mannering adventure tower was installed complete with its bespoke double-bumpy slide, two tower units, rock climber, fireman’s pole and log ramp. The Jungle Log Climber – a timber climbing frame inspired by children’s natural desire to climb trees – was installed alongside, with its assortment of rounded timber poles, ropes and nets.

Both pieces of equipment offer children the opportunity to explore, climb and take part in cooperative and active play.

To meet the needs of younger children, the Sovereign Express and Coal Carriage, complete with seating and tunnelling spaces, were installed in close proximity. Two heavy-duty Jumbo benches were then situated to the edge of the play area for parents to keep a watchful eye on their children.

The area was finished with the addition of Bonded Rubber Mulch in a range of colours; providing slip resistant, highly versatile safety surfacing that is comfortable to walk on.

With the added expertise of the Park’s own grounds people, the landscaping was then completed – resulting in a visually stunning setting, which has been well received by the holidaymakers. All agree that the new equipment is a fabulous addition to Darwin Forest’s wide range of facilities for all ages.

The Results

  • Sovereign’s playground structures provide children with opportunities to play outdoors and engage their physical abilities, as well as their imaginations, through active play.
  • Jumbo benches provide a heavy-duty solution for seating areas.
  • Long-lasting and available in a spectrum of colours, Bonded Rubber Mulch is a popular form of safety surfacing made from shredded rubber chippings and complies with BS EN 1177.
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We asked Sovereign to come along and meet us, as we were very interested in their range of wooden play equipment. Given our forest setting, we wanted a company with green credentials, whose products were in keeping with our natural environment.

Andy, the Area Manager, met with us, listened to our requirements and then came back with a fantastic plan and visualisation that really hit the spot! We decided to tweak a few minor points, but nothing was too much trouble and he seemed to really want to get everything right, popping in regularly to check on progress when he was passing.

After we placed the order, Sovereign swung quickly into action and the installation went very smoothly. A few minor snagging points developed over the first few days, but a call to Sovereign soon resulted in appointment with Gary, the installation manager, and he sorted everything for us.

Since then, the children have had a ball and we look forward to working with Sovereign again in the future.

Lyndsey GraysonParks Director at Darwin Forest Country Park
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