Photo gallery: Children try out new adventure playground on the Royal Estate at Sandringham

Children from Sandringham and West Newton Primary School have tested out the new play area in the wo

Children from Sandringham and West Newton Primary School have tested out the new play area in the woods on the Sandrigham Estate. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Primary school pupils jumped at the chance to test out a new adventure play area on the Royal Estate.

Timber from the Queen's own sawmills has been used to build the spectacular series of rope walks, climbs and clatter bridges in a woodland clearing near Sandringham Visitor Centre.

Children from the nearby Sandringham and West Newton CofE Primary School celebrated the end of term by christening them.

As 80 of her charges streamed onto the apparatus, headteacher Alexis Brand said: 'They were really excited about coming up today, most of them live locally, so they've seen it being built. They're certainly putting it to the test.'

Alexander George, the Queen's deputy land agent, said: 'With two young children of my own, I was really pleased to see this new play area taking shape. We were delighted to invite the school here today to be the first children to use it and we hope that it will be well loved by the hundreds of families who come to the country park every year.'


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The play area was built by Dersingham-based Flights of Fantasy. Director Russell Bowlby said it had taken a team of five carpenters four weeks to build, from specially-selected timber.

'It's cold-felled sweet chestnut, all local,' he added. 'It's felled in winter so the sap's not rising so the bark stays on longer than it would if it was felled in June.'

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The play area is expected to gradeually blend in with its surroundings as the wood ages. Sandringham and West Newton Primary gave it the thumbs up.

'I think it's really good because it's all made of wood and it's fun to play on,' said school council member Alex Castleton, aged nine. 'I like the wobbly bridge, when you're on it, it wobbles.'

School council chair Anna Howlett, 11, said: 'I think it's very good because there are lots of different activities you can do.'

Kevin Steward, from the Visitor Centre Restaurant, gave the youngsters all a lolly to round off the afternoon.

The play area is open free of charge every day, but is not staffed, so children must be supervised at all times by an adult.

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