Sunderland Pathfinder play

Colour were commissioned by Sunderland City Council as lead consultants, landscape architects and project administrators for the delivery of thirteen community play schemes across the Sunderland area. Sites were located in a diverse range of localities from existing play areas to parkland and urban brown field locations.

Site specific design proposals were developed in close liaison with the Council, responding to key existing site features and feedback from their extensive public consultation process. The over-arching aim of the schemes was to create 'natural' play environments where materials and landscape features are used to create play opportunities rather than relying solely on formal play equipment as many traditional playground designs had tended to do.

Features such as fitness/ nature trails, natural stone boulders, grass mounds and sand play were used as appropriate to enhance the play opportunities and to complement formal play equipment, which was chosen in response to community preferences at consultation events.

Working with specialist advisor Tim Gill, a risk-benefit approach was also adopted to the schemes in response to recent studies where play activity has been found to be most beneficial and stimulating where an element of risk is accepted.


City of Sunderland

Project Team

Sunderland City Works, Brambledown Landscapes, Trevor Atkinson, Wharton




Completed 2011

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