Southampton Common

Southampton Common Nature Play Area and Water Park has received a £500,000 redevelopment, to the delight of the local community.


With the existing water play area decommissioned, a Surrey based landscape architect Davies White designed a new area. Playforce successfully tendered for the landscaping, supplying and installation works of this unique project, and produced a value engineered piece which saved Southampton City Council £200,000. This was achieved by specifying alternative equipment which was more suited to the environment.

Through the project, Southampton City Council wanted to create the Common as a focal point, encouraging the public to use the facilities and enjoy the outdoors. To help the council achieve their objective, Playforce organised community engagement days which included woodworking workshops. These were run by Andy Frost who created bespoke elements for the play area. The workshops helped build the children’s excitement around the play area and learn what role Andy was playing in its development.

‘We are all delighted with the new play area at Southampton Common - the children love it. Thank you to Playforce and all those involved in creating such a fantastic site and play area.’ Tony Hill, Development Co-ordinator (Play), Southampton City Council
Wanting to ensure the play area benefitted the community, Playforce were keen to source equipment from local companies, for example, the timber came from a local tree services company.

Timescales were a particular challenge during the Southampton project  as there were long lead times for equipment and services. The weather was also challenging and left the ground very water logged. In order not to damage the ground, Playforce took the decision to allow the site to recover and came off the project for a short time. Despite these issues, Playforce worked continuously to ensure they successfully met the required deadlines. The open day was attended by hundreds of children and adults, and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.