Junior Play Area, Foxlake Adventures Park, Dunbar
The Foxlake Adventures Park, near Dunbar, boasts Scotland’s first cable wakeboarding park and the UK’s only rope course constructed over water. This makes Foxlake a popular attraction and an exciting day out for a range of visitors including families and school parties. It gives many people the opportunity to try out a water sport in a safe and controlled environment with expert supervision.
A Natural Play Area
Foxlake realised that all their activities started at 6 years of age but had many families visiting with children younger than 6 that couldn’t take part. It occurred to them that it would be a great help to these families and enhance the appeal of Foxlake if they had an activity area specifically for children under 6. This would keep visiting family’s younger members happy while the other members could attempt the more grown up activities. This is when Foxlake approached Russell Play.
Foxlake wanted to make a natural looking play area that would appeal to young children and also blend in with the surrounding woodland setting of Foxlake. They had seen a play area that Russell Play had designed at Duthie Park in Aberdeen that used bespoke timber products and decided it was exactly what they needed for Foxlake. Timber has a warm friendly feel and it is very versatile. It can be carved to create themed sculptures, fun play houses as well as traditional play equipment such as swings, seesaws and stepping stones.
The main feature in the Foxlake play area is the timber play house called ‘Fox Den’ with a fun fox carving looking out of the upstairs window and another sleeping fox on the lower access deck. The client wanted to feature carved fox figures in the design to tie in with its name. They also wanted to feature figures of other woodland wildlife often seen there, such as owls, rabbits and ladybirds. Discovering and counting the different kinds of carved animals is a fun game in itself. The play house features a stainless steel slide and sand play elements as well as endless possibilities for young imaginations that a play house brings.
Surrounding the playhouse is a variety of other play equipment to provide a range of different activities. Three carved mushrooms for balancing or sitting, a basket swing, a timber balance beam, a play tunnel and a swing set for toddlers. For the more adventurous older children of the age group, there is a timber and rope climbing frame which is a low-to-the-ground junior version of Foxlakes’ over-water rope course.
The play area is at the front of the park on the left of the lake so is visible to visitors on arrival. It is fully fenced and next to a picnic area, so is ideal for resting and keeping an eye on young ones. Families visiting for the day that have children of different ages are able to watch the older children take part in the water based activities but at the same time have somewhere safe for the younger ones to play. The lake is visible from the play area so the playing children will be introduced to wakeboarding by seeing their older siblings try their hand.
As with all visitor attractions that are popular with families, this well designed and located play area will become an important part of the day out for the family and enhance the park’s overall experience.