Play Areas

Today the guys from Andy Frost Design were in to measure up and mark out the site for the new Giants Chair. Four large Beech trees will be used to make the main structure.

Each of these will be cut down to about 8 metres of trunk which will become the 4 chair legs and be located on concrete blocks to ensure stability, and to keep the timber out of the wet ground.

The type of tree together with the basic method of construction is just the same as with the original Chair of 30 years ago.

To help clear the site of vegetation and topsoil a Navy team from HMS Collingwood came out of Portsmouth to help. With picks and shovels the group made short work of the task and by the end of the morning they had dug four holes each 1 metre square and 600 mm deep. Under the shallow topsoil is solid chalk and special spades and iron bars had to be used to cut through the rock.

HMS Collingwood is what is termed a ‘stone frigate’ or shore establishment. Opened in 1940 it is now the largest naval training organisation in Western Europe.

The Park plays host to many naval personnel over the course of the year and today’s team were based on HMS Illustrious and on shore for training.

Andy Frost Design Ltd is a small company who have been putting together original and sculptural play equipment for 20 years now.

Some years ago they built the QE Tots Play area with its lizard, butterfly, toad and grasshopper play items. All animals found in the Park. For more information about the company go to

Tomorrow the plan is to mix on site a total of three cubic meters of concrete to fill each hole. This will take several days to harden before the creative part of the construction can begin. The new Giants Chair should be complete by the end of June.





A few months after the old Giants Chair was removed for, yes health and safety reasons, construction of the replacement has begun.

Many visitors will remember the original Giants Chair which had been a well-kept secret hidden in the depths of the forest since the early 1980s.

Designed as an art installation it became a climbing frame and ‘meeting place’ for teenagers, many of whom now visit the Park with the next generation.

The new Chair will still be familiar although it is designed with play in mind. As a consequence all ages will be able to access the chair seat and there will be a safety surface underneath. Its location will be in the forest within 300 metres of the existing Juniper Play Area.

The designer Andy Frost, who put in the QECP Tots Play Area, will be in next week together with some Navy volunteers to start preparing the site and digging the foundations.


The Navy is helping out with this project thanks to the involvement of the Kyle Bartlett Memorial Fund which is contributing to the project costs. More information about the KBMF can be found at

The whole project should take about 4 weeks in total.