Westonbirt Magazine

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Ted's Fright

Many years ago, too far back for most of us to remember, Ted was driving a tractor through an overgrown area of Silk Wood, only to find himself teetering precariously over the edge of an abyss. From then on this old quarry was called Ted’s Fright.

In 2011 the hole was transformed into an enormous climbing frame for children to clamber and crawl on. The idea was to create something similar to giant tree roots erupting from the ground.


Children playing on the climbing frame With six huge nine metre tree trunks weighing around three tonnes each and a couple of elderly trucks to help lift the trunks into position, all was completed in a day. This was grown-ups playing with sticks on a major scale!

Ted’s Fright allows children to create and explore their own imaginative worlds; increasing their dexterity and cognitive skills, negotiating with their friends and making up their own rules. For those watching, just stand back and marvel at how amazing children can be when left to their own devices.

Our plan going forward is to replace the ageing play areas in the Old Arboretum with even more inventive installations, encouraging young visitors to understand the natural world around them. Ted would appreciate that!

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