Wheelbarrow Castle Field
The first delivery of Cowdray Estate oak arrived and the first of the 4 Wildwood structures started. The scale of the Dens and Trails has just come into stark relief. They will be impressive innovative play areas. The great weather is assisting the team keep on schedule.
As some of you may have already seen, work has well and truly commenced on the early stages of the park. The drainage channels are in, with the exit of the drainage pipe designed to flow into the pond. The pond itself has been excavate and the natural clay liner due to be delivered and fitted early next week. The oak wood trunks and branches, kindly donated by the Cowdray Estate, will be delivered over the next 2 weeks with the first deliveries starting on Mon 25 June. Wildwood personnel recently visited Cowdray and inspected the timber which has been allocated to the project and came away very impressed indeed. These timber deliveries will be timed to cause minimum disruption to the primary school car park users. If this fine weather continues, the progress of the Park will be swift.
The pond dug, awaiting the natural environmentally-friendly clay liner, with drainage exit pipe from the groundworks clearly visible. The pond measures approx 11mtrs x 6 mtrs and is kidney shaped. It will have at least 2 log seats on its periphery.
Much to our excitement, the Wildwood team has arrived and is starting work. These innovative wild natural play dens and trails will be one of the unique highlights of the Park. i attach a short piece from the Wildwood site which nicely paraphrases why the Easebourne Parish Council selected Wildwood.
“Have you ever known a child that doesn’t like to climb trees or balance on a fallen tree trunk? Most children and most grown-ups can’t resist it. There’s excitement, there’s nature, there’s trepidation but confidence, there’s also a bit of risk. We think all this is key to healthy human development and it allows children to feel wild and free. With natural play, there are no preconceived ideas about what play is and this allows children to use their imagination more than they would with conventional play equipment that’s largely designed for a single activity.
Our nature play recipe is simple, we take the natural attraction that children have for climbing on tree trunks and we use our ecological and design expertise to create wild natural play areas. These are full of opportunities for natural exploration and they’re made from natural materials and change with the seasons. The natural oak tree trunks attract wildlife for the children to discover whilst they’re playing. Our play areas have natural ‘wow’ factor compared to conventional play equipment. The finishing touch with our designs is to carve local distinctiveness into the surface of the timber. The subtle carvings are left unlabelled like a secret code that encourages the children to think about their local community, local history and nature.” Of note, the carving designs are being produced by the children of Easebourne Primary School and Conifers School.
The image below is representative of a Wildwood Den, 2 of which will be constructed in Easebourne Park, together with 2 Wildwood Trails.
Lawrence of……………………….. not Arabia, but Wildwood!
Wildwood tele-handler, used for the transport and manipulation of the oak logs.
The former sports field was only fully usable in the summer months due to a tendency to becoming waterlogged during the wetter months, resulting in a large portion of the field becoming unusable. thus, the first practical works required was to insert land drains to ensure ground water flowed away from the north east section of the field into an area where the pond will be placed. this work was contracted to PB Groundworks, a local contractor, who completed the work in under 5 working days. First the site had to be fully fenced off to ensure public safety.
Fencing sourced and erected by Playsafe Playgrounds, one of the 3 main contractors for Easebourne Park.
Extensive drainage almost complete.
Phil of PB Groundworks – one of the 3 main contractors, who will return to complete the perimeter paths in August once the play equipment installed.
Easebourne Parish Council received from Chichester District Council planning consent for the Wheelbarrow Castle Community Space and Play Park project at the end on April; accordingly we are now proceeding with this exciting project. The Parish Council has recently held the last 2 of a series of public consultations where the overwhelming response has been enthusiastic and supportive. Indeed, the consultations threw up several innovative ideas for additions to the present plans for the community space which the parish council are discussing and which may well form part of a phase 2 plan, to be enacted next year, subject to fundraising being successful. Thank you to all who have participated in the public consultations over the past 2 years.
The present title for the community space and play park is a bit of a mouthful and we have sought suggestions during recent consultations: the majority opinion was that the space be simply be referred to as Easebourne Park. The plan for the park, shown below, will involve coordinated work between our 4 contractors, Affinity Chartered Surveyors, PB Groundworks Ltd, Playsafe Playgrounds, and Wildwood UK, and our close partners, Easebourne Primary School. The work is due to commence on 8 June this year, and the park should be completed by end of August. Regular updates on progress, to include an opening date, will be provided on this site – please keep looking. We would be delighted to answer any specific questions you may have about this project. Please contact Sharon Hurr, the Parish Clerk on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Woodlands Trust generously granted the Parish over 200 native English trees which required to be planted to form the copse of trees at the ease of Easebourne Park. In Sep or October, there will be hundreds of bluebell bulbs planted (English bluebells) in and amongst the trees.
But first the hard work of digging in the trees had to take place. A group of volunteers formed and the work commenced.
The start of the 200 tree planting day
One of the many volunteers, to include enthusiastic support from South Downs National Parks Authority.
We are aware of the recent press report regarding the change of use planning application for the field and are in communication with the relevant authorities. We’ll post any updates on the website as soon as we have them.
Work on the new playground at Wheelbarrow Castle continues. After some initial consultation the working group has been liaising with a traditional play equipment supplier to obtain quotes and will now be working with the supplier and Wildwood to produce a final design. The Parish Council will consult on the final design.
At the same time, the working group is preparing the planning application for submission over the coming weeks.
Part and parcel of producing a final design will involve setting the costs of the new playground. In the interim, the Parish Council is applying for some grant funding to boost the coffers and is also looking at other funding options.