THE Rhug Estate’s Lord Newborough asked a group of Corwen schoolchildren to be the first to test out a new £11,000 playground built outside his award winning farm shop.
The new adventure area was designed, manufactured and installed by Chester-based firm Creative Play and created as a new play facility for not only young visitors to the farm shop but also for families in the surrounding community to come and enjoy.
Lord Newborough and his dog Truffles were there to celebrate its official opening with pupils from nearby Ysgol Bro Dyfrdwy who he invited to give it a no holds barred test run.
Lord Newborough said: “Our aim was to offer a safe, entertaining and durable place for children to play when accompanying their parents to our much loved shop and restaurant facilities.
“From the cries of enjoyment heard today, I think we have achieved our goal. I am sure it will become an extremely popular and welcome addition to Rhug Estate Organic Farm Shop and one which I hope will be much enjoyed by families for years to come.”
Developing children’s physical fitness, sporting and cognitive skills is an integral part of the design process at Creative Play, based on Sealand Road, where a team of 100 staff see each development through from consultation, design and manufacture to installation and maintenance.
Creative Play Sales Director David Esser, who was at the special event, said his design team focused on giving the play area a rustic theme in keeping with the farm location and rural environment of Rhug Estate.
He said: “We felt thrilled and honoured to win this prestigious opportunity to create a new playground for the Rhug Estate farm shop.
“We’ve used our new Jigsaw range of play equipment and coloured them in rustic browns and beige tones which have a nice country feel.
“We’ve concentrated on the four to 11 age group with all abilities in mind, and, in consultation with the Rhug Estate team, selected equipment which our past experience has shown most suit that age range.
“This includes the popular central climbing towers, rope bridges, slides, A-symmetrical stairways, climbing walls and the bison shaped springer seats.
“The idea is that all the elements can be used by more than one child at any given time so no-one is left out or hanging about waiting for their ‘go’.”
Ysgol Bro Dyfrdwy pupils Ffranc Vaughan Evans, Ilan Roberts and Edward Huw Francis, all aged nine, declared the play area was first class.
Ffranc said: “I love the bison chairs and having a go on the climbing wall,” while his friend Edward agreed that being a VIP at its opening ceremony was simply ‘the best lesson ever!’
Their teacher, Ysgol Bro Dyfrdwy assistant headmistress, Catrin Phillips, said the school, located in Cynwyd, near Corwen, was honoured to be special guests for the occasion and pupils had been looking forward to it all week.
She said: “The play area has certainly met all their expectations. What is so good about it is that there is something for all ages, no one is left out or unable to participate on the equipment. One of our pupils has cerebral palsy but she was able to join in just as much as all her classmates.
“The bark used as a flooring surface is so soft and safe, and each piece of equipment is quality made, the children are loving it all.
“You can just tell that a lot of thought has been put into the overall design to make it coherent, fun and a great place for children to share the play experience.”
Estate managers at Rhug Estate decided they needed a state-of-the-art amenity to replace the previous playground which needed updating and upgrading.
Rhug Estate General Manager, Graham Webster, said: “We had the old play area built some years ago and it was beginning to show signs of wear. We considered repairing it but quickly concluded that a much better option was to start again from scratch and invest in a much more inspiring and modern alternative.
“When the skilled design team from Creative Play visited our site we were immediately impressed with their visionary approach and suggestions for incorporating some bespoke elements.
“They have subtly included our logo, carved into the central piece of equipment, and the rocker seats, which the younger children really love, are in the shape of our famous wild bison. Finely considered details like this have given the facility the classic Rhug Estate stamp which we were looking for.”
Rhug Estate, owned by Lord Newborough, comprises a 6,700 acres farm in Corwen, plus a further 1,300 acres at Ty Mawr on the Gwynedd coast.
The farms supply much of the produce for the award-winning shop situated off the A5 at Corwen, Denbighshire. It includes the increasingly popular Rhug Estate organic bison, Welsh lamb, Welsh salt marsh lamb, chicken, geese, turkeys, and Aberdeen Angus beef.
First opened in 2004 the shop has evolved into a prominent local resource and major tourist attraction, stocking more than 2,000 hand selected products with a real focus on Welsh, local and organic suppliers.
Mr Webster said: “Many families stop here for a bite to eat or a coffee as they are passing through. Our outdoor bistro cafe is extremely popular so it was important to us to provide families with a safe place where their younger children in particular can let off steam and be kept happily entertained.”
Each Creative Play playground is designed to suit the client’s specifications, depending on their budget and location.
All of Creative Play’s equipment is designed and manufactured in Chester by the company’s in house teams, who use state of the art equipment and each specialise in timber, plastic or metal.
Creative Play’s own teams install all of the equipment and surfacing to meet the requirements of the client and their own rigorous quality standards.
For more information on Creative Play visit www.creativeplayuk.com or call 01244 375627.
For details and opening times of Rhug Estate Organic Farm Shop visit www.rhug.co.uk, tel: 01490 413000.