Bridgefield Park named runner-up at prestigious awardsPublished: 08/01/2021
One of Ashford’s new playgrounds has been recognised at the national Street Design Awards.
Bridgefield Park, in Cheesemans Green Lane, was named runner-up in the awards which reward play areas that create safe but stimulating play.
The awards are held annually by LocalGov, the UK’s largest dedicated local government news website. They celebrate best practice in street design across the UK.
Cllr Matthew Forest, portfolio holder for Culture, Tourism and Leisure, said: “Bridgefield Park is one of the borough’s newest playgrounds and we are very proud of its design. This national recognition is testament to the hard work of council officers, working with BDP to create a park which brings play, nature and conservation together.
“I hope the children and young people who visit the park continue to enjoy it for many years to come.”
The development of the park was first conceived in 2000 through the housing application for 780 new homes on the south eastern urban rural edge of Ashford.
The council worked with landscape architects from BDP to design and develop the park, which was completed in 2018. It brings together quality natural amenity and nature conservation spaces featuring wildflower meadows, natural grasslands to encourage ground nesting birds, circular walks with interpretation boards, community orchards, a leisure area with a large Iron Age hill fort play area with a dry river-bed feature, a new footbridge for access and a small amount of car parking.
Mehron Kirk, landscape architecture director at BDP, explains: “Wild and natural outdoor play spaces are becoming a rare sight and so some children can be completely unfamiliar with natural garden spaces, earth and animals. The use of natural materials, flora, fauna and intelligent, educational signage was vital in bringing our design vision to Bridgefield Park. The result is a space that feels natural, incorporates learning, ecology, community and provides an engaging, vibrant play area for children. We are extremely proud of our collaboration with Ashford Borough council on this project, of the outcome and of the national recognition by LocalGov.”
As the site is within flood zone 3 and is of archaeological importance, there were additional technical challenges to designing and creating the park.
As one of the runners up, Bridgefield Park will feature in the commemorative awards e-book later this year.
Photo courtesy of BDP