About Mike Jones
Mike Jones is passionate about play. Ever since his first assignment, 30 years ago, to create a playground for a women’s refuge in West London, he has dedicated himself to making communities more playable. He is lead designer and director of Earth Wrights Ltd, a pioneering company specialising in the design and build of natural play ‘habitats’ – environments that inspire imaginative, unstructured and self-directed play. He believes all children deserve beautiful and stimulating spaces which meet their instinctive play needs, and he enjoys getting kids involved in designing and building their own playgrounds. His work has had a major influence on educators, councils and housing developers by both communicating the value of natural play and offering practical, affordable solutions.
His designs can be experienced in hundreds of locations from London to Land’s End, including Kimberley Park in Falmouth, National Trust properties such as Lanhydrock and Cotehele and the Eden Project.
Recently Earth Wrights completed designs for the new Children’s Play Garden for The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, the highest profile new play space of 2018.
Our children are born primed with potential, ready to rapidly grow and learn how to survive and thrive in the world. To help them do so, evolution has placed in their hands a flexible, quirky, unpredictable tool - useful when messing about and experimenting with the rich natural setting of planet earth. It’s called play, and children have a strong instinctive drive to engage with it. It is, in fact, essential to their development into healthy, happy and socially aware adults.
In this talk natural play expert Mike Jones will set out the state of play in Britain, the importance of free, self-directed play and offer ideas for creating playgrounds that no child can resist.