With more than 25 years of experience, Greenfields is a Gloucestershire landscaping firm that has brought hundreds of play areas to life across the county.
The family firm is proud of what it has achieved over the years, from nurseries and schools to council playgrounds — and SoGlos speaks to owner, Will Graulich, about the practicalities of bringing playtime to life.
Let's start with the basics. What sort of work do you do for schools and public play areas?
In schools, we cater for everything outside and the variety is pretty wide. It could be installation of play equipment, children's outdoor gym equipment, floor games, outdoor classrooms, shelters, sun sails, artificial grass, safety surfacing, sheds, fencing or gates. We repair all of these as well.
For public play areas we install and repair, playground equipment, surfacing, fencing, gates, outdoor gym equipment.
How many of these sort of projects do you work on each year?
It's an area of business that certainly keeps us busy! We complete around 300 jobs a year for our communities, which are a combination of exciting new installations and repairs of treasured, older play areas.
What do you enjoy about these projects?
They are incredibly rewarding projects to work on. Play areas are such an important part of our communities.
There is nothing better than driving past a play area and seeing families smiling, laughing and enjoying themselves, using facilities we've installed. It gives us a great sense of pride and very high feelgood factor!
What kind of feedback do you get?
The projects and repairs are always well received. It's great that people understand how important these spaces are to our communities and they're always very pleased to see investment in these areas.
How does it make you feel knowing you’re creating a legacy for families and children?
It really is great. We are incredibly proud of the work we do in our communities and enjoy the challenge of making these spaces the best they can be, as they will be used by many generations making fun family memories for many years to come.
What would surprise people about community play areas?
To be honest, it's probably just how much planning, thought and hard work goes into creating these spaces, from concept to completion.
It would probably surprise lots of people about how complex some of the equipment is to build — but we relish the challenge!
There's also a lot of in depth knowledge and experience that goes in to ensure a play area is installed so it is completely safe and compliant inline with regulations.
What are some of your favourite play projects?
One of them definitely has to be Leckhampton Primary School. We installed the biggest clamberstack we have ever seen, with a brilliant timber trail leading off of it.
We also loved the playground at Stoke Orchard Community Centre because of its great features, which included a plane with disabled access.
The quality of the playground at Redmarley Village Hall was very pleasing, with some great equipment using natural robinia wood which gives it a lovely rustic feel.