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Adventure Playground History

The Adventure Playground movement began in the 1930's in Denmark when C.T. Sørensen, a Danish landscape architect, noticed that children preferred to play everywhere but in the playgrounds that he built.  In 1931, he imagined "A junk playground in which children could create and shape, dream and imagine a reality." Why not give children in the city the same chances for play as those in the country? His initial ideas started the adventure playground movement.

The first adventure playground opened in Emdrup, Denmark in 1943, during World War II. In 1946, Lady Allen of Hurtwood visited Emdrup from England and was impressed with "junk playgrounds." She brought the idea to London. These "junk playgrounds" became known as "adventure playgrounds."

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Today's 21st century children do not have the same freedom to roam, even in the country, that existed for children in much of the 20th century. While grandparents today remember playing out all day with their friends, cycling 40 miles along empty country lanes and building dens in the woods their grandchildren are often far more restricted.

Play England were commissioned by the Governement to support the Play Pathfinder programme and  they have issued adventure playground guidance about what a modern adventure playground should include.  They are now currently as well as continuing with support for Local Authories, are concentrating on supporting on giving communities the inspiration and resources to enable them to develop, manage and sustain the places where their children play.

For further detailed information about adventure playgrounds please see the history of adventure playgounds.