We were fortunate enough to be featured on BBC Radio 4 in their programme "The Imperilled Adventures of the Adventure Playground" by Josie Long. We are so happy with the show and how it turned out, with interviews from children, parents, volunteers and staff. The programme gives a fantastic insight into what Baltic Street Adventure Playground is like and also a bit of background into what we do and why we do it. Featuring voices of playworkers and play theorists from across the board, in history and present day. If you would like to know what a day at Baltic Street is like and why we love our playground so much, you can listen to the programme here.
"“Better a broken bone than a broken spirit.” So runs the mantra for adventure playgrounds - as coined by the woman who did more than anyone to establish them in the UK, Lady Marjory Allen.
In these current days of ours, an increasing aversion to risk means these places designed for children to swing from ropes, jump from trees and generally run free are in trouble. Many of them have been either shut down or re-purposed - a trend only made worse by local authority funding cuts.
Josie Long thinks this is a terrible situation. Adventure playgrounds, she argues, have never played a more important role, with children ushered from bubble to bubble between home and school, after decades in which active and seemingly hazardous play has been undermined. But are adventure playgrounds much safer in their own way than the ‘toyland whimsy’ offered by conventional playground designs where children don’t learn to assess risk?
Josie talks to Michael Rosen about how much more creative the play offered by adventure playgrounds can be, encouraging independence and developing vital social and psychological skills alongside an amazing amount of fun. She spends two days among the children and play workers at the Baltic Street Adventure Playground in the East End of Glasgow, seeing first-hand the incredible and radical difference such a space can offer - not just to the individual children but also the community at large."