Back in 2012, eibe Play assisted Maidstone Borough Council in using funds generated by the Cobtree Estate to undertake major improvements to their historic park including a brand new animal-themed area. The Zoo Play Park was designed and installed by eibe and officially opened in 2013. This unique playspace was inspired by the old Maidstone Zoo that used to occupy the same, specific area of the park.
eibe veteran, Stuart Evans, who worked on the project himself six years ago, recently returned for a routine after sales visit with the key stakeholders and was delighted to find the place “absolutely packed”. Meeting up with new Cobtree Manager, Elizabeth Buckingham, the feedback was exceptional. “Elizabeth said she is still so happy with the play area and how well it puts up with the thousands of people using it year in, year out, so it basically needs no maintenance,” explains Stuart.
The imposing entrance structure and neighbouring play area features a large adventure play fort with climbing elements, rope bridges and slides, as well as various swings, including toddler swings and a disabled accessible swing (a harness is available in the Visitor Centre). Elsewhere, there is a ‘dragon’ swing and double zip wire that are spread around the lower area of the park.
Natural play was a design imperative in the original brief, so there are lots of logs on which to balance, as you wander through the woodland walk. The whole park allows youngsters the opportunity to embrace their environmental surroundings and enjoy the vast, open spaces that Cobtree offers.