Wicksteed Playgrounds, known for its bespoke outdoor play schemes, has designed and installed an engaging Arctic play experience at the Highland Wildlife Park! The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) commissioned the play area which provides the opportunity to tell its main stories; about how its animals are incredibly adapted to the cold weather and the wonderful natural setting of the park which is situated in the heart of the impressive Cairngorms National Park.
The focal point of the play area is a giant climbing Rockscape, which features a polar bear standing proudly on a block of ice with tunnels to explore underneath. A large double width slide takes children down to the azure blue safety-surfacing sea where intrepid explorers can hop and balance on wooden planks between 3 floating glaciers, all watched by an inquisitive seal.
This fun and educational play site is situated near the Polar Bear Kiosk to enable adults to relax while their children are occupied in a safe environment. As well as the main polar bear climbing rock, the site features a single slide into the play area from the kiosk, a balance board, an interactive polar bear menu panel and a ‘put your head through the hole’ polar bear display.
“We are delighted with our new play area which is set to be a really popular attraction at the park this summer. Wicksteed impressed us from the start with their creative interpretation of our ambitious brief, which was far and away the best we had seen. We wanted the play area to link to the animals on site and to reflect their habitats and the key characteristics of each animal,” commented Daska Mackintosh, Head of Operations and Visitor Services at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park.
The Highland Wildlife Park is home to over 200 animals including native Scottish species as well as rare and endangered animals from the world's mountains and tundra regions. The 200-acre Park is located just seven miles from Aviemore and is home to snow monkeys, snow leopards, tigers, wildcats (plus other native species, including red deer), wolves and polar bears.
RZSS Highland Wildlife Park is home to Victoria, the only female Polar bear in the UK, and Walker and Arktos who are the only male polar bears in Scotland. The males share a custom-built enclosure which is one of the world’s largest and best polar bear enclosures, with extensive and varied natural landscape providing significant enrichment for the bears. Victoria has her own very large enclosure, which features a pond and soft areas of ground, as well as plenty of space for her to explore. In total, the park devotes more space to polar bears (over 4 hectares, or 10 acres, in total) than any other zoological institution in the world.
For further information on the Highland Wildlife Park visit www.highlandwildlifepark.org.uk and to find out more about how Wicksteed can transform your play offering, contact the team on 01536 517028 or visit www.wicksteed.co.uk.