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Arnolfini - est 1961

An interactive play project that aims to open up Leigh Woods for more sustained and varied use by children and their families.

With: Assemble

Assemble are a collective of architects, designers and artists based in Stratford. Their working practice often follows an initiative or project over an extended period and is highly responsive to the immediate concerns of a site. Their ambition is to rethink how we live in our cities, creating opportunities to make public spaces more open and our interactions in them more joyful.

Leigh Woods is an important natural space for the inhabitants of Bristol, consisting of 190 hectares of broadleaf woodland. It is covered by a number of important conservation designations and serves as a habitat for many different species of birds, mammals and invertebrates. On a day-to-day basis it is a well-loved destination for play, and work is underway to make Leigh Woods even more playable.

Part provocation and part experiment, Assemble will occupy the site with a series of three hands-on, collaborative workshops. They will investigate how children can be encouraged to get the most from the site, with play that opens opportunity for risk, freedom and self-direction, asking how an atmosphere of permission to play can be established in sensitive environments.

The occupations and experiments will form the basis of a Spirit of Play ‘Tool kit’, a working document which will be populated by discoveries made by children and participants during the occupations. This working document serves to capture what visitors find particular and special about the site, and aims to explore and champion the things that make Leigh Woods so good for play.

Related Events (All events are free, no need to book).

Location: Leigh Woods

Weekends in the Woods
Saturday 19 July, 3pm, Rope Swing Workshop and Artist Talk – Leigh Woods
Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 August, 10am – 5pm, Follow-your-nose Play
Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 September, 10am – 5pm, Tree Play
Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 October, 10am – 4pm, Mud Play – come prepared to get messy!

For more information visit or the National Trust Leigh Woods Project page

This event is part of The Promise. The Promise focuses on the relationship between a city’s design and the hopes and ambitions of its residents. Exhibitions and events will take place in the Arnolfini galleries and across the city of Bristol throughout the summer.

The commission at Leigh Woods is a joint project by Trust New Art Bristol, National Trust and Arnolfini. The Promise is organised in association with Paradise, a project by Trust New Art Bristol, National Trust. The commission at Leigh Woods is a joint project by Arnolfini and Trust New Art Bristol, National Trust.