Explore and Play at Rowallane Garden
Discover Rowallane Garden’s Explore and Play area. Located in the Pleasure Ground this exciting new area designed especially for children and families.
The theme of the project is linked to our Plant Hunter’s Passport. It allows children to be adventurous and explore the exciting journey of discovering the exotic plants we have on display throughout the garden.
Our aim was to create an interactive environment that feels like part of the landscape providing a pathway to a deeper connection with nature. We hope it encourages you to look up and around, admire the views, engage with your senses and appreciate being outdoors.
The new Explore and Play area has been made using completely natural materials. Fallen trees have been reimagined as climbing frames, activity dens were made from branches found throughout the garden and stepping stones are inventively fashioned from cut stumps and logs. Intricate chainsaw sculptures depicting exotic animals reinforce the link to our Plant Hunters Passport.
Our gardening team were fully committed to providing resources to build the features into the landscape. The size of the site allowed for the construction of several large activity points each linked with pathways and bridges. Beams and obstacles were installed to offer graduated risks and challenges. The wider team were invited to help with final preparations ensuring the site was safe and ready for public access.
Staff and volunteers from a range of departments within the Belfast property group worked together to successfully complete this project which is a testament to their creativity and passion. The area has been received very well and it is great to see families enjoying it come rain or shine.
Things to look out for in Explore and Play
Meet Ponya and Friends
Did you know the first plant hunters collected animals too? On your journey prepare to encounter some animals from all over the world. Explore and Play is home to a range of chainsaw sculptures of the animals you may stumble across on your Plant Hunters adventure.
A sculpture of Ponya, a Red Panda from the Himalayas greets you as you begin your exploration. As you journey further into Explore and Play you will find crocodiles, buffalos, turtles and various other exotic animals carved into the obstacles you will be climbing, clambering and jumping over.
Want to chill out, rest for a while or even invent some exciting games? Delve into one of the dens, make yourself comfortable and let your imagination run wild. The dens have been made using completely natural materials. Fallen branches, twigs and twine are pulled together to make a dwelling fit for any cunning explorer.
While you are climbing over crocodiles, stepping over rivers and hiding in dens why not explore further? Turn over stones, look up into the trees and keep an eye out for an array of wildlife waiting to be discovered. From birds, to minibeasts and frogs there is always something to find as you explore and play.
Grab a Plant Hunters Passport, experience Explore and Play. Your adventure starts here.