20 February 2015

Wanted: willing participants to test out new and exciting play trail features!

I’ve said it before but I do love my job. The sheer variety of day to day work and projects we get to work on keeps me on my toes and eager to keep learning more!

Testing out the dens: It can be a tough life being a ranger!

The best part of it by far though is looking after and developing the Natural Play Trail at Wray Castle. Phase 1 saw the construction of a scrambleboard, a slackline, stepping stones, balance beams and plenty of den building material! Many people tell me that they love the trail and can’t wait to see what comes next! So we are excited to announce our phase 2 plans! 

Scrambling up to the trail!

Behind the scenes: 

It might look like we just go out and have fun moving woodchip, digging in posts and constructing scrambleboards and climbing features! Well we do, but we also do lots more besides. We have less exciting but equally important jobs to do, in particular checking the trail regularly, and continually updating the checksheets and the risk assessments! All to keep the trail as fun but as safe as possible!

Gathering materials for the trail can be an interesting task too! Last week, I found myself ordering a new slackline, more rope, screws, bolts and various bits of timber. Who would have thought that slacklines come in different colours?

A slackline in ranger red? Yes please!

An army of volunteer and ranger help: 

Without the help, dedication and enthusiasm of our volunteers we wouldn’t be able to create the play trail! So a massive thank you to all who have been involved and will be involved in the future months!

Dedicated volunteers! I had to order the sun especially!

We have exciting plans for 2015 in the natural play trail. We will be looking for willing participants to come and try out our new features as we build them. These include: 

1)      Climbing traverse – Test your climbing skills by traversing up and across the slope to join the main trail! Is it as easy as it looks?

Lots of lovely colours :)
2)      Another tyre swing – the current tyre swing has been so successful that we are going to put in another one!

I can't wait to test this one!

NB: some of the eagle eyed amongst you will notice that we have had to take down the tyre swing temporarily. Never fear, it will go back up very soon!

3)      A horizontal spiders’ web – Using a large tree stump, we will construct a spiders web of epic proportions! You’ll be able to climb over, under or simply sit on it and admire the views around you! You'll have to come down and see for yourself as it starts to take shape...

4)      Log stilts – Test your balance and stretching abilities…

5)      A muddy pit – Mud, mud everywhere… come and find worms in our muddy pit, create mud pies or get your wellies on and get stuck in! *warning* parental advisory – muddiness very likely!

Be like a volunteer or ranger for the day - getting muddy is fun!!
6)      Most exciting of all: a treehouse – keep an eye out as we ask for your ideas very soon on the Wray Castle Facebook Page

Ok, so perhaps this is a little too elaborate for the size of trees in our woods! But we are looking forward to getting your ideas! I can't wait to get my hands dirty constructing it!

Watch this space! If you see us working out and about on the trail over the course of the next few months, come and have a chat! We love hearing your ideas and we are always in need of people to test our creations!

You can keep up with developments on the play trail on the Wray Castle Facebook Page

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