The creation of a fantastic play space at Clare Castle


Client: Clare Castle Country Park

Location: Clare, Sudbury, Suffolk

Clare Castle Country Park is said to be ‘Suffolk’s most diverse Country Park’ and is a haven for history and wildlife. The park is owned by Clare Town Council and run by an independent charitable trust with whom Playdale has built a relationship with over the last few years.

The playground is in a lovely spacious setting within the park. It’s a great place to see nature, enjoy a picnic and begin one of the many set walks that have been created around the park.

Having bought equipment from us in the past, we were delighted when Park Volunteer Sue Partridge contacted us again about two playground expansion phases that she wanted to discuss with us. The park was to be provided with Section 106 money courtesy of St Edmundsbury Council, to offset the impact of a nearby large-scale housing development project. The trustees were thrilled to be able to make these much-needed improvements and give the park’s playground an exciting new lease of life!

Following a design, consultancy & survey meeting on site between our Area Manager and Sue, our design team set to work creating a two-phase playground expansion. The central junior tower unit (green and red pictured below) was installed back in 2008 and was from our former ‘Jukebox’ range. Still in super condition, this was to remain a central feature of the play area.  The additional new equipment that was installed over these two phases has resulted in a spacious, varied & exciting space for park visitors…from toddlers right through to young teens!

Sue and all the working party were delighted with the work carried out and the end result. They felt an official opening was definitely in order! VIPs from the Borough and Suffolk County Councils were invited and a great day was had by all…a fitting occasion for a fantastic new facility! The official launch of the play area was conducted by Mary Evans, county councillor for Clare.

Mary Evans from Suffolk County Council and Ira Adams, 8, officially open the new playground at Clare Castle Country Park. Pic – Richard Marsham at the Haverhill Echo

The new perimeter fence around the play area allows families to enjoy a larger, dog-free grassed area away from other park users. There are also now plenty of picnic tables and benches to give visitors the opportunity to relax, socialise, picnic and enjoy the space together!

Looking down onto the Inclusive Orbit roundabout next to the Timber Swings with the Adventure Trail close by

The Little Hamlets Plus Merrymeet Plus unit in all green with a Burundi Jungle Climber behind

Geoffrey Bray, chairman of the park’s trustees, said: “We are delighted to have been able to make these much-needed improvements. We are grateful to St Edmundsbury for facilitating the funding, and to our volunteer team of experts; Sue Partridge, Louise Jordan and Julie Adams for all their hard work in planning and bringing the project to a successful conclusion.”

Merrymeet Plus Toddler Unit

All the equipment complements the natural surroundings of the park and has created a real focal point that will attract many visiting families. The play area has been very well received and is something that Clare Castle Country Park can be very proud of.

Timber Swing Frame with Junior Seats and a Team Seat

The Clare Castle Country Park play area now has something for everyone and it demonstrates how many different play elements can be achieved when a project is phased over time and installed in stages.

Amelia Jones, 2, plays on the new playground at Clare Castle Country Park. Pic – Richard Marsham at the Haverhill Echo

Click here if you would like a copy of our current catalogue and click here if you would like to meet up with your local Playdale Area Manager to discuss any aspect of your playground project.


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