Haringey Play Association

Somerford Grove Adventure Playground

A free, open access, adventurous play provision for children aged 5 to 15 years old.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from to

open_in_new https://www.haringey-play.org.uk

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1097752)




  • Community Support & DevelopmentCommunity Support & Development
  • Sports/RecreationSports/Recreation


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)



Managed and run by HarPA, the free, open access adventure playground for 5 to 15 year olds has been open since July 2005 every week day after school and on Saturdays, as well as during the day in the school holidays. It is extremely well used with an average of 40 to 50 children term time, and a peak of over 100 in the holidays. Our ongoing feedback from users – children, young people and their parents – constantly tells us how much they value and like the free, open access nature of the playground and the fact that they get to experience many play opportunities that are just not available to them anywhere else, that allow them to develop skills and understanding that they would otherwise not have. Through this we meet many children and young people who may have significant issues to deal with as a result of the effects of deprivation in the area, and in order to provide the holistic support that they need we have been developing our links with other agencies including the local schools, education welfare, social services, the local Children’s Centre and others. The outside playground and structures were built by us, using some of the designs and ideas from the ‘Can I Say Something’ consultation (copies available on request) and involving, where appropriate, groups of children actually helping to physically build the structures. We feel it is important that the children develop a sense of ownership and belonging for the playground, as it should feel like ‘their space’, as well as giving them the opportunities to affect and change their own environment. This still carries on, on a daily basis, through den-building, painting structures, and sometimes just digging holes. Many children in today’s urban environment just don’t get the opportunities they need to explore and experiment in their own way, at their own pace, for its own sake, and this is what we try to give them – access to nature and the elements, and many and constantly varying possibilities. We have a regular camp fire in the winter and cook on it, the hose pipe is on mostly all the time in the summer (hose pipe bans permitting), we like playing out in the rain, we have a pond with fish in it, we plant fruit trees and berry bushes…… Most importantly we give children the opportunities to take and assess risks.