Woodland play and Picnic area for children


Our aspiration is to create a small natural area in woodland close to our village centre: accessible for all ages, but especially for young children to explore and play in the small clearances amongst the mature trees. It will be designed to encourage an interest in nature and bio-diversity.

Swalcliffe is a small village with about 95 houses and 150 residents. A number of the younger families in particular live in cottages with smallish gardens and the village is short of public spaces where families can stroll to easily and meet and mix safely. The nearest is common land over a mile outside the village (and not accessible with push chairs) and young families have to drive at lease three miles to the nearest play area. There is also an increasingly busy main road, with narrow pavements, dissecting the village, which inhibits the normal the peaceful 'to and fro' that you would expect in a rural community.

There are about 30 children under the age of 10 living in the village and a growing number of grandchildren visit regularly – probably about 25 currently. The creation of this wooded play area will help encourage other young families to move into the village, and help ensure a more balanced age profile.

The land, which has kindly been donated on a long - term lease by a local boarding school (measures about 35 metres by 15 metres) and our vision is to create a wooded area for children (and adults) to explore, to both exercise their curiosity, and meet others. As well as incorporating a small number of wooden pieces of play equipment and a picnic table the area will encourage interest in nature and wildlife through the placing of bird and bat boxes and a sensory garden.

We are still in the planning stage at the moment so if you have any suggestions or concerns please get in touch via the Swalcliffe website.

The Steering Group is made up of Village residents

Peter Beddowes, Mick Foley, David McLindon, Sophie Thompson and Charlotte Watkins.

Feel free to talk to them or email on:




10 April 2015

Click image above to see some drawings from children - what they would want at the play area.


19 July 2017

The Planning applications have finally gone in for the Swalcliffe Community Woodland Play and Picnic Area. If you would like to show your support for the application please visit the planning portal and PLEASE add a comment to the proceedings. All you have to do is register on the portal and then make a comment. Every bit of support will help the cause. Spread the word and SHARE with your friends - there is more information on the portal but the plan below will give you a brief  idea of the proposal.

Links as follows:
Play area one:

Footpath one:


Breaking through of the wall to make the entrance: