Enchantment and excitement in store at Dalkeith. Plans for landmark new adventure playground unveiled.
14th September, 2015
Children are set to embark on a journey of discovery and adventure at a ground-breaking new playground being created at Dalkeith Country Park.
Plans for the magical park, which could have been plucked straight from the dreams of big kids and tiny tots alike, have today been unveiled as part of the £4m redevelopment works at Dalkeith.
The innovative park will delight locals who treasured Dalkeith’s previous play area, and is set to attract visitors from across Scotland and beyond with its scale and surprises in store.
The 1,000sqm adventure park aims to capture the imaginations of youngsters who love to explore, discover and make-believe, with a host of exciting features designed to add inspiration to their playtime.
The centrepiece of the play area will be The Look-Out Treehouse, a spectacular hideaway with a mysterious, whimsical theme.
Featuring a turreted roof with a maze of fanciful rooms and tunnels to explore, kids will be able to navigate their way through the wooden wonderland to an impressive look-out platform at the top.
An adventure zone for older children will incorporate a network of exciting high-rise walkways, balance blocks, log walks, jungle climbers, jumping discs, swings and slides.
The new adventure park will also include a toddler area featuring a wooden carved duck family, miniature train and a smaller treehouse-style den.
Access to the playground will be via an entrance bridge with a special ‘children only’ feature – a kid-sized tunnel which runs from one side of the structure, disappears underneath it, and re-joins the bridge on the other side, providing the perfect secret pathway for little explorers.
Blueprints for the park were drawn up following extensive consultation with the local community, including a series of events where locals were given the opportunity to give their feedback on initial plans.
In particular, Mary Higgins from Saltersgate School worked closely with designers to incorporate accessibility into the park, with a fully accessible roundabout, swings and a nest swing at the forefront of plans.
Edward Morris, Estate Manager at Dalkeith Country Park, said: “We are thrilled that construction on our fantastic new adventure playground is now well under way. The previous play area was immensely popular with visitors from the local area and further afield, so it was extremely important that the new plans were bigger and better than ever before. We’re sure that locals and visitors will be as excited about the new park as we are and can’t wait to see children and parents’ reactions to it.
“The adventure playground is one of the cornerstones of our multi-million pound redevelopment plans for the Park and will contribute to making it a real five-star visitor attraction.
“We’re also planning to introduce a retail and leisure zone in the Stableyard, plus new activity-based features and upgraded walking and cycling trails. We look forward to unveiling more details in the coming months.”
The playground at Dalkeith Country Park is being created by Blue Forest, a specialist luxury treehouse and play area designer. A team of around 15 – many local contractors – will be carrying out the building work on site.
Andy Payne, Director and Founder of Blue Forest, said: “Dalkeith Country Park provides a superb setting for our creations. The beautiful natural surroundings complement the feelings of fantasy and adventure we want to bring to life for visitors.
“Work began on site this week and we hope to be able to welcome the first children along to try it out in the spring.”
And children spending their time at Edinburgh and the Lothians’ first outdoor nursery, Treetops Nursery located in Dalkeith Country Park, are also looking forward to having a new space to explore and play in.
Four-year-old Daniel Brown, a pupil at the nursery, said: “I can’t wait to play in the new park and go on adventures with my friends at nursery – especially in the big treehouse. We’re excited for it to open!”
Blue Forest is widely considered to be the world’s leading tree house design and construction company and has established a reputation for creating buildings which reflect the environment in which they are built. The company is run by Andy and his brother Simon who were both born in Kenya where they were fortunate enough to have spent their childhood surrounded by the beauty and adventure of the great outdoors. Blue Forest was born of these experiences and from a desire to bring people closer to the natural world.
Blue Forest’s portfolio includes everything from fairy-tale tree house castles, to simple kid’s play dens and luxurious grownup hideaways.