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Bradford Garden Centre invests in outdoor play to broaden toddler appeal

Bradford Garden Centre invests in outdoor play to broaden toddler appeal


The team at a Bradford Garden Centre has invested in a new Early Years outdoor play area.


Tong Garden Centre has refurbished a 300m2area of its Grass Hoppers outdoor play area specifically for under 5's.


North Yorkshire business, Playscheme has developed the area in line with theearly years foundation stage (EYFS) that sets standards for the learning and development of children under five through games and play.


The early years area features wooden play equipment including a sensory pyramid, a pirate ship and a low-level adventure trail to help with children's physical development and a theatre area and musical instruments that encourage imaginative role play and builds communication and language skills.


Recently appointed Play Manager, Matt Lowrey is delighted with the success of the new area: "Grass Hoppers is so popular with toddlers and preschoolers, especially in term time, and we identified a need to engage and stimulate our early years visitors. All the improvements were made in line with the EYFS framework so we're pleased that the area is getting much more attention since the refurbishment. We're encouraging imaginative play with the pirate ship and stage area whilst prompting more adventurous play with the stepping stones, stilts and balance beam.


"The new outdoor equipment complements the existing indoor early years play kit and role play areas that have been well received since the introduction of the indoor play offering in 2019."


The early years area has also been replicated in Grass Hoppers at Tingley Garden Centre which opened recently at the end of September. The former Play Manager at Tong, Caroline Ellis had been promoted to the multi-site position of Group Play Manager and will oversee the play offering at Tingley that caters from early years in Grass Hoppers to 6 - 14 year olds in Mission Out.


Tong Garden Centre occupies a 19-acre site in Tong village. It is one of Yorkshire's biggest independent garden centres with 125,000 square feet of retail space and parking for up to 700 cars. In addition to the new garden centre at Tingley, it has applied to Leeds City Council for planning permission for a third site at Thorp Arch, Wetherby.




Photograph caption:Matt Lowrey and Rebecca Ure Matt Lowrey and Rebecca Ure from Grass Hopper


For more information or to arrange an interview with Matt Lowrey, please contact Tracey Baty at three60 marketing on:


Direct line:01430 871360

Mobile:07971 961574




Notes to editors


  1. For more information about Grass Hoppers, please visit
  2. For more information about Tong Garden Centre, please visit
  3. For more information about Tingley Garden Centre, please visit
  4. For more information about Mission Out, please visit