Case Studies

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Elan Valley Visitor Centre Play Area

March 27, 2017

A play area situated right in front of a huge dam is an awesome sight and a terrific place to expend some energy on challenging, tactile and adventurous equipment whilst also having fun!  This site, located at Elan Valley Visitor Centre and operated by Dwr Cymru Welsh Water is play provision at its most inspirational.  Wicksteed won this fantastic contract for Welsh Water – as part of a 4 site project which also includes play areas in Llys Y Fran, Llyn Brenig and Llandegfedd. The four sites – each of which total in the region of £75k – were completed in stages and Elan Valley was the first to be installed.

Wicksteed at Elan Valley Welsh Water

The Elan Valley Visitor Centre is set in a wonderful location against a pretty spectacular backdrop of a Victorian stone dam and has been awarded a ‘Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge as a provider of high quality teaching and learning experiences in a safe outdoor environment.

Wicksteed - Welsh Water Elan Valley (2)

Wicksteed’s imaginative and supremely apt design proposal and the powerful way in which it was presented, impressed the discerning members of the panel.  Most of the inspiration for the timber-led scheme came from the surroundings which provide the perfect framework for some thrilling, multi-play products that offer plenty of opportunities for spinning, sliding, swinging and climbing activities to be pursued.

Entering through the hand-carved timber entrance play area reveals a special, bespoke Dam Climbing Wall – from the top of which the dam can be spotted.  A huge Hillary unit, complete with Monkey Bars, Steel Slide and multiple climbing and traversing features provides loads of challenging, physical fun. A natural Agility Trail with playful Mounds, Balance Beams and Log Posts is another great feature.  The Scramble Net Climber and Log Swings offer more adventurous play and the carved timber Totem Pole and Toadstool seats provide charming additions to this bold and enticing water-side adventure zone.

Bouldering Wall at Elan Valley Wicksteed Mounds, logs and totem pole at Elan

Whether the visitor is whizzing along on the 30m timber Cableway in the shadow of the dam, clambering up the bespoke Bouldering Wall or tackling any of the multi-faceted elements built in to the sturdy structures, there is something for everyone here and it all represents great play value.

Written by: Andy Prentice
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