Castle Batch All-Inclusive SEND Play Park2023-08-30T13:36:53+01:00

Castle Batch All-Inclusive SEND Play Park

Where to find us – Bishop Ave, North Worle, Weston-super-Mare BS22 7PQ

Castle Batch has housed a play area for over 15 years and has been managed by the Town Council for nine years. The council recognised the need for SEND provision, and Castle Batch was the obvious choice for the redevelopment due to its size, need for refurbishment, and accessibility.

Extensive consultation demonstrated the need for a park suitable for all ages and abilities. Children with Special Educational Needs Disabilities (SEND) often have reduced access to outdoor play. This can lead to limited opportunities for children to explore and socialise, or develop the confidence and strength they need to achieve success in life. By creating a fully inclusive park, we allow whole families and friends to be able to play at the same time. Every child deserves equity and a safe place to play for their development.

The need for equipment for mixed ages and abilities has become abundantly clear. The specification has been supplied to contractors, using the consultation data. Given the value of the project, both financially and socially, this project will need carefully considered communications at every stage of development.

The refurbishment of Castle batch park to become an all-inclusive play area is an ambitious project for a cost of £400,000 for the 0.85 acres / 3,456.41m2 park.

With thanks to our community partners who have generously helped to make this project happen:

  • National Lottery Community Fund
  • North Somerset Council
  • NSC Improving Play Spaces Fund
  • Big Worle
  • Tesco

The park has a Facebook page. Please follow it for updates. Click HERE

Photos by John Scaife / A1 Camera Club

Dogs – Why are Dogs not allowed in the park? / what will you do to ensure dogs are not bought into the park? / will my child’s service dog be allowed to enter the park?

Castle Batch Play Area, much like other play areas managed by the Town Council will not allow dogs, other than service dogs, into the play area. Signs will be made clearly visible explaining this. We respect that service dogs may be required and wish for members of the public to respect this also.

Signage –  What type of signs are up in the park?

Have worked with a local SENCO to develop a communication board for park users. This will make the visitor experience easier, and support those who communication through a variety of ways. These will sit alongside standard signs.

Fencing – Why is there no fencing and coded access?

We are really proud to be able to provide a park for families with children with a variety of needs. Our consultation demonstrated the desire to provide a play area for children of mixed abilities to play together. This is an inclusive play area, and as such will be open to the entire community. we are respectful of hidden disabilities, and feel there should be no barrier to participation.
There is a designated wheelchair swing in the park which can only be accessed by using a ‘Radar’ key, the key is then further required to operate the swing itself to keep all park users safe. This is the only fenced and locked area within the park.
A video is on this page to explain how it works.

ASB – How will you stop vandalism? / who will monitor the site? / what is the long-term plan for ASB?

Weston super Mare Town Council is working with a variety of local organisations to ensure the safety of the site including, but not limited to:
• Local Police
• North Somerset Council Community Safety Team
• CCTV team
Are developing a crime prevention plan. We will be engaging with the local community to ensure they understand how important this play area will be for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Maintenance – If this park gets damaged how will that be dealt with?

Weston super Mare Town Council has a dedicated team of trained officers who inspect our play area’s daily. We have a specific budget for play area maintenance and will ensure issues are dealt with quickly. We also think there is an opportunity to engage with the community about the maintenance process and explain what it takes to maintain a play are of this size. We feel that this will help the community understand how important it is to respect the park and its equipment.

Vision – What’s next ? / do you have any other plans regarding SEND? / what else can we expect from Castle Batch?

We would love to see the SEND provision increase around the play area. There is an opportunity for the community to host SEND sessions, develop a programme of events and work with the local children centre.
With SEND provision more generally, the Town Council is dedicated to providing inclusive projects, and has always strived to deliver equal opportunities. We aim for this in our services, and where we recognise barriers we work to remove them. We will be working on reviving a sensory theatre project for the Blakehay Theatre.
Anyone wishing to be involved in this should contact

Development – Who was involved in the development of the park? / what was the consultation process?

Weston super Mare Town Council was fortunate to engage with a very diverse audience when carrying out public consultation. We started by consulting SEND Coordinators at three local schools to develop a consultation questionnaire. We wanted to ensure that not only were we engaging in the right way, we were asking the right questions. we developed two questionnaires, one for park users and the other for parents, careers and teachers. We were overwhelmed with the response, which was unlike any we have received previously. We also hosted two open days at Castle Batch, and an evening for community stakeholders. All the information we gathered was given to play providers who created the chosen design for the redevelopment. The chosen design is reflective of the consultation data we received, and interpreted by designers who are in the top of their field.

Environmental – How has this project been considerate of the environment and climate change?

Weston super Mare Town Council works closely with an Arboricultural consultant who has been involved in our development process. It was felt the inclusion of trees within the play area would not only add some canopy cover to a very open play area, it will also ensure there is an element of natural play as such 20 new trees which have been planted to enhance the park experience. There will also be a sensory planting area.

Notice: Play Equipment 

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We hope you and your children are enjoying the wonderful new SEND all-inclusive play park. As we strive to make this space welcoming and safe for everyone, we kindly ask for your attention to a crucial matter regarding the appropriate use of play equipment. 

Please note that whilst designed as inclusive, there is still a need to consider if equipment is suitable for your child’s individual abilities. 

Our play park is designed to accommodate children of various age ranges as you can see from the differing equipment, ensuring an enjoyable experience for all. However, it has come to our attention that some children are using equipment that might not be suitable for their age group. 

We want to emphasise the importance of these suggested guidelines:

1 – It’s essential to have adult supervision for every child or group of children using the playground. 

If you come across any problems, make sure to inform the responsible adults. This constant presence of adults plays a vital role in preventing injuries and ensuring everyone’s safety. Additionally, having adults around encourages positive interactions among children and promotes sharing and taking turns. Remember, keeping a watchful eye on your children at all times is crucial for their protection.

2 – It’s important to choose play equipment that matches your child’s age. 

Equipment designed for older children might not be safe for younger ones. Children between the ages of 2 and 5 are still developing their motor skills and balance, which makes them more susceptible to falls. They might also need more time to use certain equipment. Prioritising age-appropriate equipment can contribute to a safer and more enjoyable play experience.

3 – Using playground equipment correctly is paramount to prevent injuries. 

Sliding down a slide sideways, upside down, or in unconventional ways can lead to abrasions, sprains, fractures, and other significant harm. Similarly, climbing equipment should be used as intended to avoid falls. If a piece of equipment is too high or has wide gaps, it might not be suitable for your child’s use.

When the playground gets busy, it’s important to follow a fair and considerate approach. Taking turns and not crowding the equipment is key. By practising patience and sharing, everyone gets a chance to play safely. Avoiding overcrowding helps maintain a positive atmosphere and prevents conflicts among children.

We Request Your Help: As parents and guardians, you play a crucial role in creating a safe and enjoyable environment for all children. Please ensure that your child uses the equipment that corresponds to their age group and individual ability only. Supervision and guidance are key in making the right choices for your child’s play experience.

We would also ask that you park your car respectfully for the people who live in the local area and don’t block the access to the car park or peoples driveway.

We appreciate your cooperation and commitment to making the play park a place where every child can have a fantastic time. Let’s work together to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors.

Thank you for being a part of our inclusive community!

A wheelchair accessible swing – Our AbilitySwing has been specifically designed to be installed in an open play area where constant supervision isn’t available. The DDA / ADA swing is exclusively opened by an independent access key (also used for disabled toilets & train station lifts) which guarantees no unauthorised use, allowing entry only to wheelchair users. AbilitySwing has a safe working load of 250kg.

You can order a Radar key from a number of organisations and retailers, including the Disability Rights UK website, the Blue Badge Company, Argos and Age UK. Only buy from a reputable retailer, so you can be sure the key is genuine.
(Source: )

AbilitySwing with Enclosure User Instructions 4 Point Restraints

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