Adventure playgrounds

Play England works with local areas and communities to support adventure playgrounds.

England has been a world leader for over 60 years in communities and local areas creating and sustaining adventure playgrounds since Lady Allen of Hurtwood first brought the idea to this country from Emdrup in Denmark.

Adventure playgrounds are a unique form of staffed play provision where children can enjoy their childhood through engaging in the full possibilities of their play. They are places where children can play in ways that they often can’t elsewhere and provide the play opportunities that adults used to take for granted when they were children.

Creating camps, dens and other self-made constructions, growing plants and vegetables, making fires and cooking on them, making and meeting friends; in adventure playgrounds children learn for themselves how to deal with challenges and risks and build the resilience needed to cope with life’s challenges.

The most important thing about adventure playgrounds is that they are places where children can just be children. They choose how, with what, with whom and for how long they play.

Adventure playgrounds are popular with children because they are interesting and exciting spaces, full of possibilities. They are popular with parents who see them as challenging but safe places to play because they are staffed by skilled playworkers who are at the heart of the neighbourhood community.

Adventure playgrounds in action

We have made four short films in which children, parents and members of the local communities say what their adventure playgrounds mean to them.

Somerford Grove, Haringey

Indigos Go Wild, Torbay

Garston, Liverpool

Fort Apache, Torbay


Adventure Playgrounds graphicDownload
 our latest briefing on what makes adventure playgrounds special and how they are at the heart of their communities.