I recently visited Chapelton, which is a new town being built just south of Aberdeen. My intention was to visit the newly opened Tom Patey Natural Playground, but this little beauty caught my eye…
From a distance it looked like a wee community gathering space. But when I got closer, I had a wonderful surprise.
There was some seating, but it was also a wee sand play space for children that has been beautifully designed. The bushes and hedge provide shelter and seclusion. Whilst the bench above was used, the log below was also informal seating for children and parents alike. I also saw children using the wooden wall to climb and walk along too.
I had great difficulty getting these photos because every time I walked by, a different child and adult were playing there. It was clear it was getting very well used. I think the rake is part of the place but the ball and bucket belonged to a visiting child.
I love how the grass, log and sand merge. If you look closely, in the foreground, there are wooden disks inserted into the ground around the sandpit too.
This sandspace demonstrates beautifully how such a feature can be integrated into the community and be well used and much valued. I don’t know who’s bright idea it was, but it’s worked! It’s a stone’s throw from many nearby houses and as one parent said, it means they don’t need to make or buy a sandpit, they have access to a much better one!