epd (environment planning and design) were commissioned by Coventry City Council to undertake the design, consultation and delivery of a new play area in Willenhall Woods under a previous government’s Playbuilder scheme run by the Department for Children Schools and Families.

The site offered many challenges to the play area design, which included a heavily wooded site prone to waterlogging set within a socially deprived neighbourhood. These constraints were used to inform an innovative and imaginative design response that embraces principles of natural play.

The resulting play area is a bespoke design that integrates both natural play features and equipment to provide endless play opportunities for all age groups in a serene woodland setting.

The focal point of the play area is a climbing tower tree house which looks out upon the tree canopies and gives a real sense of adventure to the space. Other bespoke play features include giant arrows which incorporate local children’s art produced during a workshop, gold coins and a treasure chest.

The play area has been well received by Coventry City Council and the local community and is a new unique natural play space within the city.

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