BalticMUMS dads, youngsters – and the young at heart – are making the most of a new natural oak play area at the entrance to BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, installed to coincide with its new summer exhibition.

The Playground Project exhibition got off to a flying start at BALTIC with 5,800 visiting over the first day and opening weekend.

And many venturing into Baltic Square have left in awe of the stunning natural play area designed and installed free by North Tyneside natural play company Infinite Playgrounds.

Infinite Playgrounds co-founder Sam McGeever, said: “The graceful oak tree trunk play is designed for everyone; young and old to climb on, swing from or eat lunch on.”

Emma Thomas, Head of Learning and Engagement at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead said: “The installation of Infinite Playgrounds’ natural play space on Baltic Square is really exciting.

“It sits alongside BALTIC’s Summer of Play and the new exhibition The Playground Project.

“ Baltic Square is already a place where children come together to play. This is being greatly enhanced with this fantastic oak climbing structure.”

Mr McGeever added: “Like many of the play facilities we make for our clients in schools and parks, the natural playground is designed to stimulate the inherent play instinct of both young and old.

“Infinite Playgrounds is a company that has developed its products with a strong link to contemporary thinking in education, allowing schools to have stimulating learning spaces that both children and teachers enjoy.

“Infinite Playgrounds work with councils and organisations, such as the Forestry Commission England, to create unique play areas that form a strong sense of place that children and parents value.”

Infinite Playgrounds and BALTIC are also collaborating on a regional schools competition aimed at encouraging youngsters to design their own Play Makers.

Entries to the Play Makers completion closed last week and the 100-plus entries from across the region will be exhibited at BALTIC between July 21 and August 31.

Ms Thomas continued:“BALTIC invited regional schools to dream up ideas for the perfect Play Maker; a person, space or invention that encourages play, imagination, fun and learning.

“Thanks to the generosity and support of Infinite Playgrounds, the winning creation will receive an outdoor oak branch den with coloured discs and a tufting workshop for their school.”

The Playground Project exhibition at BALTIC focuses on the way play has changed over the last 100 years and runs until October 30.

Mr McGeever: “ here is a strong sense of nostalgia in the playground Project Exhibition that speaks of something lost, that childrens play facilities in our communities need to constantly re evaluate what they offer and how they are managed.

“We are the country’s leading natural play company and to be working closely with BALTIC is an honour and a pleasure.”