Observatory Children’s Play Area Drainage Refurbishment

Jun 1, 2023


New Observatory Children’s playground drainage has been installed this May 2023 by Bailey Civils Ltd after years of complaints about the muddy play surface to Bristol City Council Parks Department.

BCC Parks were eventually swayed into getting a Civil Engineering Company to install a drainage system so that the children and parents did not continually get covered in mud as they enjoyed the fantastic array of child friendly play apparatus.

There had been a number of attempts at trying to stop the pooling of water around the slides and climbing frames in the previous years. Mostly using rubber matting and some large tree bark chippings.

All would be short term fixes, and children and adults alike would often come home muddy as Autumn and Winter rains did not get drained properly from the site. Something that should have been addressed in the original Observatory Play Area design, as there is a large amount of shade, so less drying up of the ground during many months of the year by sunshine. The geology beneath the surface was quite complex with both limestone, as well as clay which of course was not permeable after heavy rains. The Play Area site had been part of a small quarry probably dating back over 150 years or more. The Clifton Observatory Play Area has some great climbing frames, as well as slides and bridges and climbing blocks.

Our two Local Clifton Green BCC Councillors Paula O’Rourke and Katy Grant have over the last few years helped to highlight the Observatory Play Area and to help source funding to revive the Play Area surface. It was always down to funding and at last in 2022 this was achieved. I have continued to report back to the CHIS Committee Meetings about the Play Area and it was great news to be sent an email some months ago from our local Green Councillors that the work would be funded and undertaken in late April 2023.

The team from Bailey Civil Engineering (Bailey Civils Ltd) were on site and digging test pits to check subsoil geology and have kept to a really amazing schedule with a handover to BCC in June 203 .....

I hope that the local Clifton families and the visitors to the Observatory can make of use of the Play Area as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.......people often forget all the paper trail that will follow such an amount of work carried out to improve the surface drainage at the Observatory Play Area.

Actual opening to families and children expected before July 2023

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