Spiekeroog: car-free – but not playground-free
According to the motto “Let nature be nature”, on the East Frisian island Spiekeroog, you will find a small piece of the ideal world.
Spiekeroog is one of the East Frisian Islands in Lower Saxony’s Wadden Sea, has an area of 18 square kilometres and approximately 800 inhabitants live there. The nationally-recognised North Sea spa town boasts a nice, kilometre-long sandy beach, little forests, attractive sand dunes and an idyllic village square. On the green island there is nothing to tarnish the easy-going delight in nature, because Spiekeroog is a car-free island – but it is not playground-free!
“The Spiekeroog Island has always stood for sustainability and authentic family holidays; therefore I’m particularly pleased, as Mayor, that we will be able to offer our youngest guests new playgrounds from April onwards. More play stations, distributed over the whole island, make each walk a journey of exploration – besides the choice of materials, we have attached the most importance to a highly themed reference to the respective location. Therefore, the play landscapes blend in harmonically with our idyllic village character,” says Bernd Fiegenheim, Mayor of Spiekeroog.
In order to be able to offer younger guests new areas to play in, the company Ziegler Spielplätze von A bis Z (Ziegler Playgrounds from A to Z) was commissioned with the construction of their all-natural, distinctive Robinia wood playground equipment. “The naturally-attractive Robinia wood elements of the company Ziegler are simply best suited to our island, as they ideally fit in with our paradisiacal surroundings,” raves Patrick Kösters, Area Manager for Spiekeroog North Sea Island Tourism.
At the beginning of this year, three extensive projects were realised and are to be initiated in the Easter holidays of 2011. In the centre of Spiekeroog, the largest island space is being created. Here there is the “Melksett” adventure playground with an approximately 10 metre-long play ship, “Hansekogge” (lit. “Hansa Cog”), the feeder ship “Jonathan” and a sandpit in the shape of the “Viking” ship. Suitable for all age groups, this themed playground by Ziegler supports exciting role-play, offers adequate space for groups of school children and invites visitors to have picnics and relax.
The large Robinia wood hull “Hansekogge” for the “Melksett” playground is over ten metres long and has the typical shape of a cog. On the large centre deck, the sailing mast, with its finely finished sail made from awning material, extends to about nine metres in height. The mast of the neighbouring mast carries a retractable flag which shows the Spiekeroog emblem and the cog, therefore creating a special trademark of the island. The island’s emblem is also included in the railing of the second deck and of the observation deck. Quite an important part of our Robinia wood cog is, of course, the rotating wheel with a diameter of 70 cm which was mounted to a typically shaped post equipped with a compass. The inner platform of the sailing ship can be played on, and a vertical conductor goes from here through to the large deck. A crow’s nest fixed up above as well as the long stainless steel chute guarantee adventurous amusement for the younger visitors.
In the Spiekeroog Spa Garden, the youngest visitors can climb, shimmy and balance until their heart’s content from April 2011. The company Ziegler is to build a unique climbing route there, extending between two individual, finely finished tree houses with genuine wooden roofs, small table and inner seats. Thematically fitting, the “Noah’s Ark” made from Robinia wood is located on the grounds of the evangelic church which was built in 1960. As a “classic” by the company Ziegler, it is particularly popular among children because of its different animal motifs. With much attention to detail, and manufactured using ambitious wood-sculpturing - like all equipment by Ziegler - it possesses distinctive charms.
Photos: Ziegler playgrounds from A to Z