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The Limitations of Training, by Bernard Spiegal »

A narrow focus on training as the key means for inculcating a risk-benefit approach, may not in practice turn the trick we require of it.

Structural imbalance: Public good and the play equipment industry, by Bernard Spiegal »

A 'structural imbalance' has been allowed to develop such that what constitutes public benefit in respect of children and teenagers' play has been distorted by an overly influential play equipment industry...

Play provision inspections: flaws and errors »

Second in a series of articles by Bernard Spiegal on Standards and Inspections.

Play equipment standards: occasions of trespass by Bernard Spiegal »

The overarching purpose of this article is to ... liberate occupied territory - the too large terrain that play equipment standards occupy...

Article in the Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal, Places in Common, by Bernard Spiegal »

‘The recent ‘riots’ or ‘disorder’ should not deflect us from creating a local, shared communal realm…’

Play England: whither and what for? by Bernard Spiegal »

‘An admittedly bleak assessment suggests that Play England…’

Green Places magazine article by Bernard Spiegal with a case study (of sorts) included »

Neither maintenance concerns nor those of health and safety need impede developing a more open-hearted approach…

Neighbourliness and the Outdoors »

Communal outdoor spaces within social housing and mixed tenure estates. An abridged version of a PLAYLINK report to the Guinness Trust.

Common Sense, Common Safety »

The submission to Lord Young's review “Health and Safety and the Compensation Culture” by the authors of “Managing Risk in Play Provision: implementation guide” — Professor David Ball, Tim Gill, Bernard Spiegal.

Oh, I thought we agreed »

A paper prompted by Scottish National Heritage's recent "Sharing Good Practice, School Grounds for Nature, Health, Learning, Play and Social Development" conference. Points raised have wider application.

Common Sense, Common Safety »

Lord Young of Grantham's report to the Prime Minister — Common Sense, Common Safety — has just been published. It contains important recommendations across the board in respect of health and safety practice.

Despatches from the frontline: consultation »

One can hardly stand up without bumping one's head against publications enjoining the virtues of consultation.

Encounters with reality — creating a shared, playable public realm »

An interview with Liz Kessler, former Urban Designer with EC1 New Deal for Communities (NDC).

Slow Build for Playscapes by Grant Lambie »

Slow design gives the best playscapes.

Experts accuse play manufacturers' body of issuing misleading statements »

A group of leading health and safety, design and play experts accuse the Association of Play Industries (API) of issuing misleading, erroneous and confusing messages on playground safety.

Green Places magazine article by Bernard Spiegal: Don't panic! »

Common sense can and must inform judgements about what constitutes acceptable risk levels in play.

A shoal of red herrings II: do not overfish »

The second of two articles by PLAYLINK Associates Sue Gutteridge and Judi Legg.

A shoal of red herrings I: Sue Gutteridge and Judi Legg on consulting children »

"This has contributed to ever more complicated and demanding processes of consultation, involvement, engagement, empowerment etc. generating their own armies of professional consulters, involvers, engagers and empowerers."

Key Terms for Play »

"Risk-averse schools cannot meet their key objectives. Policy and practice need to be aligned to nurture risk-taking opportunities." An article by Bernard Spiegal for Teaching Times.

The Brentford Play Plan »

A joint West Play Association and PLAYLINK examination of play opportunities in Brentford (Middlesex), and proposals of a non-traditional kind. Of potential interest to those labouring to assess current provision but also wanting to think anew.

PLAYLINK assessment of Forestry Commission's play provision »

Includes sections on consultation, teenagers, risk, standards, play offer, publicity and promotion. Of interest to those responsible for unsupervised play provision, shared public space, and destination venues.

Green Places magazine article by Bernard Spiegal: Trends and Initiatives »

There needs to be a radical change in the nature and extent of the play opportunities we offer children and young people.

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This place is like a building site! »

The conference report on the introduction of loose materials to three primary schools in North Lanarkshire.

The power of outdoor play is in resourcing an in-touch-ness with the real world through a process that is often untidy, slow and uncomfortable...

Common Sense at work again »

The rope swing video. Lark Hill nursery's kids learning that if at first you don't succeed try, try again.

North Lanarkshire Council in partnership with PLAYLINK: This Place is Like a Building Site Conference »

19 November 2012, 10.00—3.30pm. Thornlie Primary School, Wishaw.
A conference profiling schools that have created natural environments integrating the play and learning potential of loose materials.
Speakers: Sue Gutteridge - PLAYLINK Associate, David Hughes - Headteacher Thornlie Primary,
Susan Humphries - former Headteacher Coombes School and international educator, Judi Legg - PLAYLINK Associate.
Contact: or

Common Sense at work in Lark Hill nursery, Stockport »

We are very pleased to be working with a cluster of Stockport's schools, led by Lark Hill Nursery School, to promote beneficial risk-taking in play. The nursery sent a video which is simply a delight and an expression of common sense judgment by the staff.

Press release:
Invitation to join The International School Grounds Alliance »

Growing school grounds movement gains international voice with formation of The International School Grounds Alliance. PLAYLINK member of inaugural steering committee.

Paper on considerations to be taken into account when outsourcing an adventure playground service »

Commissioned by Islington Play Association. Paper formed part of its submission to LB Islington. The paper has relevance for play services generally

PLAYLINK Maintenance Briefing Paper »

Revised paper on the maintenance of sand and loose fill material in public spaces.

Islington Sand Pit Maintenance »

Recent review work by the London Borough of Islington’s GreenSpace Team has resulted in a significant reduction in maintenance costs of their sand pits – whilst keeping them.

Risk-benefit assessments »

Examples of assessments undertaken on PLAYLINK design and implementation schemes.

Risk-benefit Assessment Form »

This form aims to assist play providers undertake risk-benefit assessments as recommended in ‘Managing Risk in Play Provision: implementation guide’.

Risk It! conference Report »

The conference aimed to explain, to clarify, to counter prevailing myths and misperceptions, above all to liberate play providers…

Risk It! conference »

PLAYLINK wants to bring this conference to your area. Please contact us if you might be interested to work with us to achieve this.

Places of Woe: Places of Possibility Exhibition »

The exhibition will show just how bad play provision can be - and how good.

No Risk, No Play? »

Edited highlights of discussion forum

Design for Play: a guide to creating successful play spaces »

A presentation based on the forthcoming publication Design for Play: A guide to creating successful play spaces, by Aileen Shackell, Nicola Butler, Phil Doyle and David Ball, to be published by Play England is now available on the Free Play Network and Play England websites.

Report on Findings of PLAYLINK's Playground Procurement and Maintenance Survey »

PLAYLINK, along with others, has long felt that procurement practice too often militates against creating best possible playable spaces …

Give us a cuddle: child protection and adult anxiety »

Open for view and downloading. Closed for comments

Places for Play Exhibition »

This Photo Exhibition demonstrates that beautiful, stimulating, tranquil and enjoyable places for play can and are being created. Places for play include…

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