Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination embarked on a project at the adventure playground in Wisbech. As CCI artists, Debbie Hall and I worked with the Spinney play workers’ team to deliver workshops and projects to different groups of young people that use and visit the Spinney. Our project aims were to enhance the playground environment and engage with the community.
The Spinney & Wisbech
The Spinney is an adventure playground in Wisbech, located near the centre of the Fenland Georgian town. The Spinney is an extraordinary place. It is a space that is core to the lives of the people who use it, yet shrugs off cliched labels and definitions. It is a playground, but one that challenges tidy and neat notions of play. It is about adventure, but adventure in the sense of finding your way through the wilderness of growing up. It is a place that seeks to facilitate core values of neighbourliness, well-being, and creative play, and yet is constantly under threat in all these respects.
The Gates & Cameras
The first thing one notices coming into the Spinney is the all surround fence and CCTV cameras pointed into and around the playground….
The Kids & Their Stories
…This is the second thing we notice about the Spinney – the sheer energy of the kids, and their risk-taking, powerful and exciting physical play…
The Play Workers & The Attitude
The third thing we notice is the genial attitude of easy and calm compassion of the play workers in light of this loose culture of toughness…
The Creativity & Play
The fourth thing we notice is just how creative and interested these kids are….