Outdoors Case Studies

Amberley Hall is situated close to Durdham Downs and can be reached by walking through some atmospheric cobbled streets. The nursery has recently been successful in obtaining capital grant funding to develop their small courtyard garden. Access to the garden was limited prior to the development as only one group of children could use it at any one time.

The nursery team put a lot of thought into the planning, taking account of what the children wanted and advice from the designer. One of the main priorities was to have some green so it was decided to have AstroTurf

Mary Butler, the owner says ‘it’s so nice to go outside now and see the children play, the garden is better than I could have imagined and it is great to see the children work together using the pumps and with the artificial grass it means the babies can come out more with safer flooring. The babies love the new garden and it is much safer for them now. The water pump is a hit with all the children.’

The practitioners say the garden has made a massive difference to them even down to the fact that they can have two groups out at once.

The parents attended a summer event to celebrate the opening of the new garden. They were very appreciative of the new developments. One parent said ‘Great!!! It’s good to have some interactive and inventive play. I like the water, the wooden stepping stones and so much good stuff in the new playhouse. Great to use the other side of the garden, it has doubled the size’.

Another parent said ‘It looks brilliant! My girls love to play in it. They are particularly keen on the water guttering and water pumps’.

The children love their new environment and being able to go out more. Percy says ‘I like the water best and the shelter because it has steering wheels. Cassia loves water play as that is her favourite. She likes the garden because it is bigger and she likes the little house. Jack likes the water and the little house the same amount. Seth loves the water, he loves wearing his swimming trunks to get wet, likes the new bug hotel and brings bugs to nursery to put into it.

The garden at Amberley Hall is a good example of how with some creative thought and design a small space can be transformed into a special place where children have opportunities to explore and play.