13 September 2021

Work to create a new play area at Roadford Lake near Okehampton will start early next year, thanks to generous funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, South West Water and South West Lakes and our supporters. 

The fantastic new Play and Explore facility will replace Roadford’s old and outdated play area, which was built in 2005. It will focus on playing and exploring in the natural environment, using materials including sustainably sourced timber and local stone.

South West Lakes’ Environment and Engagement Director, Lisa Tame, said: “Our charity believes that engaging with the natural environment enables people to grow. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve found that more people want to spend time outdoors in places where they feel safe and have plenty of space.

“The new play facility will provide a great outdoor space for families to play and explore together, enabling them to appreciate the natural environment, engage with it, create memories and inspiring them to care for the environment for future generations. We are extremely grateful to the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (via the Rural Development Programme for England) and South West Water for their contributions and to the many South West Lakes supporters who also donated or wrote letters of support.”

The inclusive play area will feature a timber play tower, rope bridge, swings and slides, incorporating the orchard planted in 2015 as an area for shade and picnics. There will also be an area for den building. Grass areas will be sown with a native wildflower and grass mix and native trees will also be planted to increase the biodiversity of the play space.

South West Lakes is passionate about enabling people to spend time outdoors and is a firm believer in Play England’s Charter for Play: ‘Play is an essential part of every child’s life. It is vital for the enjoyment of childhood as well as for social, emotional, intellectual and physical development. When children are asked about what they think is important in their lives, playing and friends are usually at the top of the list.’

Detailed plans are now being developed with the charity’s chosen contractor, Totnes based Earth Wrights, who specialise in connecting children and nature through play. Keep up to date on progress  

About us 

We believe engaging with the natural environment enables people to grow. Our reservoirs and lakes are home to many wonderful animals and boast important habitats and built historic sites. We pride ourselves on enabling people of all abilities to enjoy these special locations by providing access both on and off the water. It’s your outdoors – come and explore.