We've been working with Play England recently (more below) - the organisation that campaigns for free, inclusive and local play provision and play space. Yesterday Play England together with the National Children's Bureau launched a new project, Places to Go, that aims to change policy to create more child-friendly neighbourhoods and take into account children's needs in transport policy. Not so much Safe Routes to School as Safe Routes to Everywhere. Children's needs often come pretty low behind the needs of, say, the motorist, so we welcome this project and the contribution it will make towards creating local environments that are better for children - and adults.
Which brings me to Groundwork Playscape - a garden for children that wowed the crowds at the RHS Tatton and Hampton Court shows. We all remember the places we played when we were kids - and often it had nothing to do with swings or slides but was focused on more natural environments. In recent years though, play seems to have become more sanitised and risk-averse. Playscape, supported by Play England, is about designing play areas that are inspired by more natural forms of play, incorporating acceptable levels of risk. The garden won gold medal and the BBC People's Award at Hampton Court and impressed plenty of visiting local authority types... so fingers crossed that Playscape will be a reality on an estate near you soon.