Groundwork first began working with Seymour Park Primary School in Old Trafford when we created a masterplan for improving the school grounds. In 2022 the school received funding to develop a specials education needs (SEN) classroom which they hoped would open up into an outdoor play area. Groundwork’s Landscape Architects worked with them to develop the existing space so that it could:

  • Be more accessible to the children
  • Engage more of the children’s senses
  • Be used in all weathers


The previous space was hard landscaped with little character. Existing brick planters were too high for children to engage with and the added tee-pee and bridge featured sparked little imagination in the children.


Landscape architects designed a space which utilised existing features and focused on sustainable materials as well as addressing the clients wider brief.

The design included:

  • A stepping stone rain garden with planting
  • One of the existing raised beds was halved in it’s height, so that children could play and engage with the new sensory planting
  • The other raised bed was left at full height but a small stage/platform was built in front of it so that children could reach the plants and use the space more effectively
  • Permeable surfaces were used throughout to reduce surface water going into the drainage system and puddles in the playground
  • Moveable log stumps were installed to encourage creative play
  • An outdoor shelter was built, which fed rainwater into a planter, rather than straight into the drainage system

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