A vandalised playground in Manchester which was virtually unusable due to arson attacks has been transformed into a fun play space enjoyed daily by children, thanks to leading UK surfacing designer Notts Sport.
Until a year ago, the play area at Broadhurst Park, off Lightbowne Road in Moston, north Manchester, was hardly used because of the state of the existing wetpour rubber surface, which was repeatedly set on fire by vandals.
Manchester City Council commissioned Notts Sport to design a new ChildsPlay surfacing system for the park, which would be vandal-resistant - but the company faced deep-rooted scepticism from many in the area that its innovative synthetic turf would be able to withstand the efforts of vandals to destroy it. Some even warned that any new surface would only last a couple of weeks.
However, 10 months since the installation, the VHAF NottsSward surface looks as good as new and the park is being used every day by young children and families.
Andrew Aird, Managing Director of Groundwork and Leisure Services Ltd, Notts Sport's approved installer, said: "Before the installation, the play area equipment couldn't really be used because of the state of the surface, which was continually being set on fire. Those who used the park were sceptical about whether the new surface would last. But it's nearly a year on now, the park is used daily - and it looks like the day it was installed!"
The VHAF NottsSward 1150 artificial turf carpet - just one of the ChildsPlay system's options - was installed over the old wetpour rubber facility, which provided a cushioned base. The existing play equipment, including swings, slide and climbing frame, as well as the play area's fencing, were all retained.
For schools and play providers, the surface and underlying elements of the popular ChildsPlay system combine to offer a playground that is clean and quick-draining after rain, and resistant to cutting, fire and graffiti. It also requires minimal maintenance over its long lifetime.
The system, which can include varying levels of shock absorbent layering beneath the VHAF NottsSward artificial turf, can offer critical fall height protection of up to three metres.
The synthetic turf carpet is available in 15 colours, offering unlimited potential for patterns and games - and whatever colour or form it takes, the textured, tactile carpet has great sensory appeal.
Shaun Patrick, Chairman of Notts Sport, said: "Play areas are meant to be spaces which bring communities together, where families can meet and children can have fun together, but too often, in the places they are needed most, they are unusable because of vandalism and arson."
"Notts Sport synthetic turf is hard-wearing and vandal-resistant and so ensures that play areas remain undamaged and safe for children to play there. We are delighted we have been able to give children in Moston their play space back so they can get outside and play together again!"