Play strategy

Have You Had Your Say On The Play Strategy?

You have until Friday to share your thoughts on play in Kirklees – here is our handy guide to the draft strategy and why you should get involved…

What is this all about?

We’re looking at the way our play areas and open spaces allow everyone to play, so we can plan for the future.

As part of this, we want to know what you think our play areas should be like.

Our current play areas

We currently have 342 play areas, many of which contain manufactured play equipment. Most play equipment is aimed at 4 to 7 year olds.

Our plan…

We’ll look at what we currently have, how good it is and how it can be used for improving play opportunities. We will use all the information available to us to understand who’s using our play areas, what elements they enjoy and what areas will make play more fun.  Tell us what matters to you by completing the survey

Did you know…?

Out of 150 local authorities, Kirklees ranks 114 for activity levels (where 150 = most inactive).  Being active and playing improves everyone’s mental health and well-being – so anything we can do to improve this has to be a good thing.

We want to…

  • Make play areas more accessible so that play is anywhere and is not just limited to designated play areas.
  • Make our play areas suitable for a much wider age range or children and young people.
  • Provide more play opportunities for older generations and more multi-generational opportunities.
  • Encourage wildlife into play spaces, make nature more accessible to provide additional learning opportunities.
  • Increase the potential for play areas to form visually attractive environments, which are easily accessible and will become an important part of the Kirklees infrastructure.
  • Combine manufactured play equipment with natural play equipment

Did you know…?

So we can improve play areas in Kirklees,  some equipment could be changed or removed as part of their redesign. However, no sites will be lost through the Playable Spaces Strategy.

Each play area will be considered individually, which is why your opinions really matter, to find out what you think play areas should look like in the future.

So what is natural and wild play?

Wild play is unstructured outdoor play that encourages exploration, imagination and discovery by getting hands on with nature.

Wild play spaces combine manufactured equipment with more natural elements of play.  Playing in nature is important, as it gives children new challenges and allows them to explore their own abilities, and learn about taking risks.

Did you know…?

Research suggests that children feel more comfortable being in the natural environment and in doing so their knowledge about nature increases.

It’s all about saving money – right??

This is not a cost saving exercise. Any money saved will be kept in the parks budget to ensure that we have money to create higher quality sites.

If there are fewer items of manufactured play equipment we’ll need to carry out fewer inspections, and it will reduce maintenance costs.  But this means there could be more money overall for parks, money that will then be reinvested in parks and open spaces across the district.

What about safety?

We are working closely with our partners in the police, as well as experts at the university and the local community to make sure our plan for the future encourages people to use the spaces available to them in a positive way that discourages anti-social behaviour.

We feel some sites would  benefit from removing some of the hoop-top fencing around the playable spaces, because by removing these boundaries the area for play is bigger and play becomes part of the landscape.

Did you know…?

Where there are real physical barriers to play such as busy roads, we will continue to take these very seriously and give them careful consideration when designing play spaces.

What happens after the consultation?

We expect that the Playable Spaces Strategy will be redrafted and submitted for approval in spring 2018.

If approved, we’ll start talking to local residents about the sites we plan to alter in late summer 2018.

Work could begin on-site in autumn 2018. Overall we think it will take 7 years to roll out this plan fully.

How do I get involved?

Read the draft play strategy

Fill in the online survey about your experiences of play.

Find out more about our parks on the Parks and Green Spaces Facebook page.

Play strategy

Play Strategy Consultation

During October Kirklees Council will be asking for people’s views on play.  The views will help them to further develop the plans in their play strategy which was presented to cabinet on 27 June 2017.

The strategy aims to make sure everyone has the opportunity to play outdoors, and encourages wild adventurous play in addition to equipped play – both of which contribute to development.

Why are we asking about play?

Play is a vital part of our everyday lives, not only is it fun, it is also important for our physical health, mental well-being and social interaction.

We want to encourage people to play wherever possible and give you the chance to play in new, exciting and more creative ways.

What is Wild Play?

Wild play is all about encouraging exploration, imagination and discovery through interaction with nature.  It combines manufactured equipment with more natural elements of play.

Wild play spaces are designed to stimulate our natural curiosity, imagination, wonder and discovery as well as helping people connect with nature.

Play in natural spaces challenges children to explore their own abilities, and learn about safety and risk taking.

Who can get involved?

We want to know how, why and where people like to play as well as gaining a better understanding of the current and potential play opportunities that exist within Kirklees.

The council wants to hear from everybody who uses play spaces whether they are a child, young person or adult.

Where can I learn more?

Read the draft play strategy

Fill in the online survey about your experiences of play.

You can also attend one of our workshops – please note you are welcome to bring children.

  • Thursday 12 Oct – Mirfield Library, 6pm – 8pm
  • Monday 16 Oct – Pentland Infant & Nursery School, Dewsbury, 4pm – 5pm and 6pm – 8pm
  • Wednesday 18 Oct – Cleckheaton Town Hall, 6pm – 8pm
  • Thursday 19 Oct – Bagshaw Museum, Batley, 6pm – 8pm
  • Monday 23 Oct – Longwood Mechanics Hall, 6pm – 8pm
  • Wednesday 25 Oct – Slaithwaite Civic Hall, 6pm – 8pm
  • Thursday 26 Oct – Holmfirth Civic Hall, 6pm-8pm
  • Monday 30 Oct – Carlisle Institute, Meltham, 6pm – 8pm
  • Wednesday 1 Nov – Skelmanthorpe Council Offices, 6pm – 8pm
  • Thursday 2 Nov – All Saints Catholic College, Bradley, 6pm-8pm
  • Tuesday 7 Nov – Shelly Village Hall, 6pm-8pm
  • Wednesday 8 Nov – Kirkburton Library, 6pm-8pm
  • Thursday 9 Nov – Firth Park Pavilion, Heckmondwike, 6-8pm
  • Monday 13 Nov – Dewsbury Town Hall, 6pm-8pm
  • Thursday 16 Nov – Huddersfield Town Hall, 6pm-7pm, 7.30-8.30pm
  • Monday 20 Nov – Jo Cox House, Batley, 1-2pm, 6-7pm and 7.30-8.30pm

At the workshops there will be an introduction to the draft play strategy and description of the aims focus groups and what we want to achieve in these sessions. Then there will be a chance to ask questions before people attending are split into groups to discuss play areas in each ward area. You can see a bit more about what to expect on the Parks and Green Spaces Facebook page.

What next?

The information we gather will be used to influence the overall philosophy  and how it is delivered going forward.

The final draft strategy will then be presented to the council’s cabinet before any decisions are made.

Kirklees Summer Play Camp returns

The popular Kirklees Summer Play Camp is returning this year, to give children another opportunity to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors, meet new people, and have fun!

What does it include?

Over the summer six week holidays at Woolley Edge Camp Site, all children aged 9-12 get the opportunity to camp out in the country and take part in 4 days worth of activities, including learning archery, circus skills, water slide, giant Connect-Four, arts and crafts, team games, cycling, and other sports.

fire camp


The children will spend their 3 nights under canvas, close to nature and surrounded by open countryside, sleeping in tents.

The camp is run by an experienced voluntary organisation and is staffed by teachers, students and skilled volunteers.

sunrise camp

What do they need to bring?

Children don’t need any special equipment for their activities, but sensible clothing, footwear and, if possible, sleeping bags (these can be provided if necessary).

The camp takes place on:

tent camp

Camp 1: 27 – 30 July,

Camp 2:  31 July – 3 August,
Camp 3:  5 –  8 August,
Camp 4:  9 –  12 August,
Camp 5:  14 – 17 August,
Camp 6:  18 – 21 August.

The week at the camp costs only £60 per child, or £30 with a priority Kirklees passport, and this includes all the fun activities, coach travel and meals provided.


If you’re interested, you can book a place for your child at or by calling 01484 225956 or 01924 324558.

6 ways to experience Greenhead Park


With summer fast approaching, why not take the time to enjoy the sun at our wonderful award-winning Greenhead park and its multitudes of activities available every day. Here are the top six activities to do when you get to the park:


Feed the ducks, ride the mini steam train, zip through the playground, go for a paddle, or pull the perfect 360 spin at the skate park – the park has something for all the family.



Have a rocky moment

Whether you are training for your next big fight or just wanting to get fit then Greenhead park is a great place to start.  Put on your trainers and go for a gentle stroll,  pick up some poles at a Nordic walking session  or take part in a park run – a  5K run, walk or shuffle against the clock.  You can even build up your strength by using the parks outdoor gym equipment.   For that ultimate ‘end of workout high’ – why not run up the steps to the war memorial – (cheering at the end optional).

Pretend you are Andy Murray (or just a Wimbledon spectator)

The tennis courts are usually free – so as long as you have a racket and a few balls you are good to go. Not feeling energetic? With plenty of places to sit, why not pack some strawberries and cream and a little bit of fizz and leave the sweating to someone else.


Channel inner peace

From around the water fountain to the areas overlooking the rose garden there are plenty of calm spots where you can do a spot of Yoga or Thai Chi. Alternatively why not find a nice spot on the grass, open a good book and relax.


Have your cake and eat it

If you are looking for somewhere to meet friends or family then why not visit the beautiful conservatory cafe – this little gem serves light lunches and some truly yummy cakes.

We host some pretty cool events

We’ve been the host to everything from giant veg, to world famous banjo playing musicians.   Each year we hire the park out for community and private events so it’s always worth checking out what’s on and getting yourself a ticket to some alfresco entertainment.


Summer Camp

Kirklees Summer Play Camp

Summer Camp

Looking for fun ways to fill the school summer holiday? Check out the Kirklees Summer Play Camp.

The camp takes place at Woolley Edge Camp Site, between Barnsley and Wakefield is open to children aged 9 to 12 years.

It is run by an experienced voluntary organisation and is staffed by teachers, students and volunteers.

You child will spend four days (and three nights) in the country. Each of the three nights will be spent under canvas surrounded by open countryside.

There are around 75 children in each group so plenty of new friendships can be made.

You won’t need to but any special equipment either, but children do need to bring sensible clothing, footwear and if possible a sleeping bag (however these can be provided if necessary).

Whilst at the camp your child can try out new activities, learn new skills and make friends.  Activities include archery, circus skills, water slide, giant connect-four, arts and crafts, team games, cycling, and sports.

The play camp takes place on:

Camp 1: 23 – 26 July
Camp 3: 2 – 5 August
Camp 4: 6 – 9 August
Camp 5: 12 – 15 August
Camp 6: 16 – 19 August

A week at the camp costs £55 per child, or £27.50 for children with a priority Kirklees passport. This includes coach travel Dewsbury or Huddersfield bus station and all meals.

Anyone who would like to apply for a place should visit or call 01484 225956/01924 324558