School in bid to create a natural play environment

Wooler First School
Wooler First School

Planning permission is being sought for a redevelopment of a playground used by the youngest children at Wooler First School.

The 140m² playground already has sandpits and if permission is granted will host a variety of features including climbing frames, a den and parasol sun-shades.

The revamp would be crowned with an artificial stream, making use of the site’s existing slope, which children would be able to control with a special tap.

Hannah Brumfitt, a county council planning officer, has made an unaccompanied site visit. In her preliminary assessment, she has recommended that the climbing structures, rubber matting, shed, parasol sun-shade, raised den, stepped terracing beside the stream and a stone-step waterfall would all need approval.

Reception teacher Peter Lindley said that the beauty of the intended redesign, put together by the ‘play specialists’ Infinite Playgrounds, is that it will create a naturalistic environment in which children can learn and play.

He added: “One of the best things about the planned redesign is that it will contain what is not just a climbing frame, but a very organic structure which I think will be different things to different children.”

The county council has also applied for a tree preservation order, to prune overhanging branches and remove a dead branch from lime trees on the school grounds.

Wooler First School.