Unlocking the Severn Through Play

In 2017 Pleydell Smithyman worked with the Severn Rivers Trust on obtaining HLF funding for a new play area at Severn Valley Country Park as part of their 'Unlocking the Severn' project.

"Unlocking the Severn, a collaboration by Severn Rivers Trust, Canal & River Trust, Environment Agency and Natural England, is one of the largest river restorations of its kind ever attempted in Europe. It will restore over 150 miles of the River Severn to endangered fish species, by creating routes around 6 weirs. The project also aims to reconnect millions of people with the UK's longest river. Families visiting Severn Valley Country Park will are now able to enjoy a bespoke River Severn themed play area and explore a sculpture play-trail looping down to the river".

The Spry, the last surviving Severn Trow, was used as the inspiration for the play area design linking into the theme of the river being 'an artery to the world for both fish and people'. Bespoke timber sculptures were also proposed to create a fish sculpture trail telling the story of fish migration up the river Severn.

Pleydell Smithyman Limited approached 2 play companies specialising in bespoke play equipment to provide designs for a play boat based on our sketch design and worked with a local sculptor, Anthony Hammond, to provide sketches of the trow haulier and fish sculptures.

HLF funding was awarded last summer, the play area has now been constructed and opened to the public over the summer. It was swarming with kids when our Senior Landscape Architect Sally, visited the site last weekend, which is the sign of a good play space.

The official opening is scheduled for October.

You can view a copy of the developed design masterplan here.