Sustainability is our watchword at Greenbelt, and we strive to make sure that our 52,000+ households UK-wide will be able to access and enjoy the open spaces that we manage on their behalf for many years to come.
It’s not just in our rolling maintenance schedules and long-term woodland management plans that you can see this dedication to sustainability, however. We’re also continuing our ongoing programme of play area refurbishments designed to breathe new life into the equipment on some of our more venerable playparks.
We’re working closely with play area expert Doug Wallace and his team at Active Risk Management to review all of our play areas across the UK and perform refurbishment works based on the age of the development and the specific needs of the equipment in question.
A former PE teacher, Doug has worked in the play area industry for 25 years, and also oversees quarterly and annual reviews of the equipment and features on Greenbelt’s play areas to ensure that they meet European standard safety guidelines.
“Play equipment has a finite life, which is generally reflected by its warranty period,” said Doug.
“We recently started a refurbishment programme of the play equipment, which is proving to be a very effective way to extend its life. If the equipment is refurbished when required, the life extension could be as much as a decade.”
“The added benefit is the enhanced appearance of the equipment, which gives a lift to the whole area.”
Specialist refurbishment works are great for enhancing the lifespan of the equipment, but they’re also a far cheaper alternative to outright replacing older play areas – a saving that we can pass on to residents.
“A typical play area may have 5 or 6 play items and a bench, bin, fence and gate - but there are some play areas under Greenbelt’s ownership that differ significantly from this template.Greenbelt manages an estate of play areas that’s bigger than that of most UK local authorities,” said Doug.
“We have to consider the least-cost option for customers to extend the play area’s life without simply reverting to replacement. The rollout programme will continue in the years to come, thereby mitigating exposure to equipment replacement costs.”
To read more about Greenbelt’s partnership with Doug and his team at Active Risk Management, click here.
To read more about the social benefits that play areas and open spaces can bring to housing developments, click here.