Schools and Natural Play Testimonials

We are all delighted with the work you have done for us. The climbing frame is fabulous and will be a great centerpiece to our sensory garden. The climbing frame is unique and just exactly what we wanted, it will be a delight for our Nursery and Key Stage 1 children when the return to school. It fits exactly with our vision for a natural and beautiful sensory play area, which encourages adventures, open ended play and the love of nature which is inherent in all children. I can see that they will spend many happy hours clambering over it, lounging in the net with friends and piling logs under and on top of it. Not to mention the delightful “fairy house” which will have to be investigated by all, children and staff alike!
I must say that it has been a genuin pleasure to work with you throughout this project, from beginning to end as you have constantly proved to be thoughtful, reliable, open and honest as well as knowledgeable and skillful. You kept us fully informed about our project with emails and photographs and instilled full confidence despite the whole idea being a creative leap of faith for us-we knew what we wanted-thank goodness you understood too!
Once again, it has been a pleasure to work with you, Jim, we would have no hesitation in recommending you to anyone, as I am sure that we will be overwhelmed with questions about how we came upon our amazing new climbing frame. No-one will have seen one like it! You are a craftsman and your love of your art is obvious to see!

Linda Bissett
High March Primary School

Copper Beech Design was just the company we were looking for to create a natural play area for our school grounds. We searched for a long time to find a company who would share and understand our vision for real natural play, and feel we have found it with Copper Beech. We wanted our children to be able to take some risks and provide somewhere for them to play in an adventurous and challenging environment. This is just what Jim Morris-Ridout from Copper Beech has created for us. We now have a den building area that is natural, rustic, wonderfully created and beautiful to look at! The buzz and enthusiasm around the area from staff, parents and children has been amazing!

Working with Jim from our first meeting, has been fantastic as he has listened and given expert advice to create this and any future projects. His creativity in design and his ability to see the way that children will want to play in an area has been amazing. The work was carried out swiftly and conscientiously with great attention to detail using beautiful materials. We would happily welcome Copper Beech back again and recommend them to anyone!

Becky Fullarton
Outdoor Co-ordinator and Class Teacher, St Francis Primary School, Swindon

The logs and tunnel have been a fantastic success and the children absolutely love them. They offer opportunities for not only physical development, but also open-ended role play and creative development. The tunnel has been a submarine, a bear cave, a pirate ship and a train. The children have measured it, climbed on it, hidden in it and crawled through it. They love finding uses for all of the nooks and crannies and it has very much enriched our outdoor learning curriculum.

Nicola Butcher
Cliffe Woods Primary School, Rochester

Thank you for all your work on the garden, we are so happy with it and have had some great comments from the staff and parents!

Anastasia Murphy
Managing Director Portland Nurseries, Huddersfield

Our grandchildren have had so much fun this summer in the area that Jim has designed and laid out in our garden. He has such amazing insight into how children play, they have discovered so much that he put in for them. Having said this, the area is still attractive within the garden as a whole.
We are delighted with the project and outcome, and look forward to Jim adding to the design as the children grow.

Ceridwen and Tim Coulson
Carreg a Gwydr Chepstow

The play equipment is fabulous and really fits in well in that area at the back of the garden.
My clients and I are really happy with the play equipment and I know the kids will get years of enjoyment out of it.

Jacqueline Breton
Jacqueline Breton Garden Design

The balance beams are fantastic and a wonderful addition to our community garden! We’ve placed them next to a woodland area and they are well used for sitting on, walking along and generally having fun on – by all generations.

Karen Esson
Friends of Greenway Avenue Community Garden

Copper Beech designed and built a fantastic garden at Rainbows Nursery in 2007. The work completely revitalised the whole outdoor area and impacted on how the whole nursery functioned, creating an exciting free flow indoors and outdoors way of working.

The design was imaginative, creative and playful and worked wonderfully within the confines of the site. Use of materials was also inkeeping with the age group, scale of site and focus on recycled material including enormous tractor tyres.
The landscaping of the site breathed life into a dull grassed area and really revitalised how the outdoor space was used as a learning and playing resource.
The children were involved in the process and Jim worked brilliantly with them.
The work Copper Beech facilitated at Rainbows created an exciting playing and planting opportunity and encouraged staff and volunteers to use the outdoor area all through the year. Wet weather gear became standard issue for all children once the garden was built as everyone wanted to be out there whatever the weather!

The garden has stood the test of time and has been used by hundreds of pre-schoolers over the past 6/7 years since its inception and still looks fabulous.

Toni Cook
Rainbows 2006-2011, Fundraiser

I am pleased to be able to recommend Copper Beech to new clients following our experience of working with your firm at the Steiner Academy Hereford project. I was impressed by your ability to draw together the different components of the landscape design and complete them with your own creative input and employing a diverse range of skills, in the Barnyard, Kindergarten Gardens and pond areas. Equally, in the play area the result is an original and exciting play feature constructed to high standards of appearance and safety.
In all these areas, the resulting gardens and landscape are outstandingly attractive spaces that are an essential part of the life of the Academy and contribute to the success of the whole renovation and new building project.

Peter McGowen
Landscape Architect

A tremendous amount of care went into the design, selection of materials and practical realisation of the school’s requirements for the land and the outdoor environment. High-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail were key-notes of the work undertaken and as a result, we are the recipients of some beautiful and practical, non-standard features, from the hand-operated water pumps in our kindergarten gardens to the adventure playground for our younger school children and the exquisite stone-work and cobbling in the court-yard. The piece of work offers a blend of contrasting features that combine to make a striking and pleasing whole. Made with care and built to last for the lasting enjoyment and well-being of children and adults working together.

Trevor Mepham
Principal, Steiner Academy Hereford

Copper Beech truly excelled in providing our school with a landscape, outdoor classrooms and play equipment that are harmonious with the surroundings and meet the physical and aesthetic needs of students and staff alike.
Making use of carefully-sourced local materials and with a respectful attitude to the natural environment, Copper Beech use processes which allow the quality and beauty of the materials to shine and enhance the everyday activities of study, work and play.
As Landscape Steward here at the Steiner Academy Hereford I feel most fortunate to be working in such a special place.
Many thanks and appreciation to Jim Morris- Ridout for such a fantastic project done well.

Carine van Gestel
Landwork Steward, Steiner Academy Hereford