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Let’s play together – making our play parks inclusive

Earlier this year we carried out a survey of families’ needs and experiences of Dunbar play parks – huge thanks to everyone who took part!

The responses were really useful to get a sense of the challenges you face, the improvements that would be most useful, and the sites you would most like to see improved, to enable all our children to play together safely and happily.

Several key requirements emerged, including:

• Improved accessible / changing places toilets within easy and safe reach of the play area;

• Lower-height equipment;

• Sensory equipment;

• Secure fencing around the play area.

The most popular play parks for improvement were Lauderdale and the Bleachingfield. Working with Dunbar Community Council and East Lothian Council, we agreed that the Bleachingfield is the ideal play park to start making improvements to: it is already fenced, does not have a woodchip surface, is very central to Dunbar, and it’s popular, particularly after school. There is accessible parking nearby, and crucially it already has a changing places toilet within easy, car-free reach, in the library building.

It is also starting to look a little the worse for wear and ready for a refresh anyway!

We are consulting with Play As One Scotland who can provide advice on the best equipment to put in and help us fundraise and plan the installation. We hope at the very least to install a fully

accessible roundabout and lots of sensory equipment.

In the longer term, we’d love to see a range of improvements at all our play parks, including

Lauderdale, West Barns, John Muir Country Park, and hopefully a new site at TheSpace Dunbar.

These will try to meet other needs identified in the survey, including:

• Additional accessible equipment;

• Better car parking nearby;

• Improved surfaces;

• Communications boards.

We will continue to keep you updated as we move forward with these plans, and do feel free to let us know your thoughts and needs at any time.

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