We have been very busy! Below is the series of workshops since January 2016 that have given us a chance to put forward ideas for the design of the Manydown development. The next event is the summer school which is open to all 13 to 21 year olds living in Basingstoke. Please go to the ‘activities’ page for more information.

August 2019 - Country park summer drop-in sessions

Summer drop-in sessions took place in with young people from Buckskin and Bishops Green, giving young people with an interest in helping to shape Manydown the early opportunity to think about how the 250-acre country park could take shape.

The young people first learned about the features that make a country park and then found out more about the proposed country park at Manydown, including existing landscape features, such as the protected ancient woodland, and early proposals for different features, such as the country park hub.

The seven to 18 year-olds were then encouraged to think about the themes of ecology and landscape, health and wellbeing, sustainability and connectivity before deciding on features that they did and did not want in a country park and being given the opportunity design a feature for the borough’s first country park.

Young people’s ideas will be considered alongside the views of other residents during future stages of the Manydown development when proposals for the borough’s first country park are fully developed.

October 2018 -

Young designers presented their creative ideas on the Manydown development to councillors at the October meeting of the Manydown Overview Committee at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

All aged under 16, five of the original participants of the Manydown Summer Workshop, which was held in August, presented their ideas to councillors for consideration as part of the development. The students focused on three of the green areas and looked at how these areas could be used to ensure the community feel ownership of them and that they attract groups of people of all ages.  Their ideas included outdoor fitness equipment for adults next to children’s play areas, mobile cafes, hammocks for hire, bug houses and a Manydown themed crazy golf course.

The students’ work was created as part of a summer workshop which aimed to engage young people in creating a lasting legacy for the new communities at Manydown. The project team, including borough and county councillors, will now consider how the student’s ideas may be used in the green areas of the first phase of the Manydown development.

August 2018 -

Young people with an interest in creating great places for people to live took part in a free four-day workshop to help shape the Manydown garden community – one of the UK’s key new developments.

Offering an opportunity to contribute ideas on how Manydown should be developed, the workshop was held in Basingstoke from Monday 20 to Thursday 23 August for those aged between 13 and 21 interested in subjects such as architecture, urban planning, geography, sociology and psychology. The summer workshops gave young people the chance to work alongside experts in urban design and planning places to give an insight into architecture, buildings, art and green spaces. They were run on behalf of the Manydown project by SPUD, an organisation that brings people together to collaborate on educational, art and architectural projects.

The young people taking part were able to choose a topic, carry out research and develop their own ideas on how to make the new Manydown development a great place to live.


November 2017 - Presentations to councillors and Manydown project team

Three of us from the summer school presented our creative public art ideas for the new Manydown development to councillors and the project team in November.

A poppy seat, a communal seat with a sculpture of a sitting farmer and a woodland bench were our three designs – we each hoped that our design would be the one chosen to go on the new Manydown development.

Our presentations and models were created as part of a summer workshop which was open to 14 to 21 year olds in the Basingstoke area. The aim was to involve young people in creating a lasting legacy for the new communities at Manydown.

The project team, including borough and county councillors, will now consider which public seating design is chosen for the first phase of the Manydown development.  Fingers crossed they will get to use all the designs at Manydown.

August 2017 - Summer workshops

The summer workshops were open to 14 to 21 year olds from the Basingstoke area and gave us the opportunity to design a piece of public art to go in the new Manydown development

The workshop ran for four days and meant we could work alongside experts in urban design and architecture.

We researched our ideas online and took the time to walk around Basingstoke and take photos of things we liked and didn’t like. We all started to see the town, we thought we knew so well, with new eyes and ended up questioning some of the existing seats, landscapes, lighting and sculptures. We then made 3D models and drawings of our final designs for a presentation later in the year to the Manydown team, including local councillors. The hope is that one of our designs will be chosen and in doing so create a lasting legacy for the new communities at Manydown.

March 2017 - Country park research

“What is play?”

The country park team wanted us to take part in a workshop on “What is play?”. The results of the workshop are to be used in the design of the new Manydown country park and other country parks in the county.

Two rangers who hadn’t been involved in our workshops before ran this session and we were asked what we would like to see in a country park. We also spent time designing new games and activities for parks including a leaf game to match leaves from a guide book with leaves carved into wooden signpost by trees with the same leaves. We also suggested using the country park in the evenings, not just the daytime.  Let us know if you have any suggestions for activities at our new country park.

February 2017 - Web design and branding workshop

“Who are we?”

We needed to decide on how we wanted our web pages to look, our group name and our logo, so we had a brainstorming session and then voted for the favourite name and logo. In reality we decided to combine a few logos together to achieve the message we wanted people to pick up.

So this is what everything means…we have always said we want mature trees as part of the Manydown development as these will orientate people living in the development. The tree roots represent being embedded in the community, the green grass is to represent the rolling hills of the Manydown estate and the wording with the red dots to show connectivity. It hasn’t translated 100% into the logo you can see on this page as the leaves and branches aren’t as fluid as our hand drawn design but other than that it’s okay. What do you think?

November 2016 - Poundbury in Dorset and Picket Twenty visits

Our field trip to Poundbury and Andover”

Not all of us made it on this trip but it was well worth the trek to Poundbury in Dorset. This is Prince Charles’ development and it was good to see how a new place can be made to have character and individuality.

“The small details on the buildings really add that little bit extra and can make a town/city look really nice, for example the port hole on a house wasn’t needed but it was a nice extra detail that made it look that extra bit stylish.”

We then went to Picket Twenty in Andover where part of a large modern development has recently been completed.

“One thing Picket Twenty did right was they faced all of the houses into the centre of the play area, this is a good idea because it means that children can go out to play while their parents watch them from indoors.”

September 2016 - Country Park workshop part 2

“Planning what we would like to see in the new country park”

After a recap – as our visit to Manydown had been sometime ago – we worked on what we would like to see in the new country park. The country ranger gave us a list, like a shopping list, of how much things cost. The price of things amazed us – tarmac for a parking area, toilets for visitors and creating a visitors’ centre were all so expensive!

In groups we worked on the key elements that we wanted to see in the new country park, they included making sure there were designated areas for different user groups such as cyclists, runners, conservationists, photographers and dog walkers. As well as wild play areas to encourage the imagination of young children and teenagers to literally run wild.

June 2016 - Trip to Manydown to look at the proposed Country Park area

“Out and about at Manydown”

On a hot and sunny day, we met at the northern part of the Manydown site with two country rangers who took us on a walk around the part which will become the new country Park.

We looked at the issues that need to be considered, such as wildlife, a coppice area and how different parts of the new park will need to be designed to ensure that some existing areas are protected and not overrun by visitors. We started to realise that running a park that makes money to cover its cost is quite hard when you have to keep a lot of different types of visitors happy. We looked at how far people would be prepared to push a buggy to get to a play area and how dog walking areas would need to be separate from picnic and play areas. All this was useful background for the next workshop in September on what we wanted to be included in the new country park.

May 2016 - Briefing to councillors

“We were listened to.”

Three of us were asked if we would like to present the ideas from the workshops to an evening briefing on Manydown for councillors from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council.

It was a great opportunity and the feedback from the councillors was very positive.

January 2016 - Three workshops on placemaking

“Investigating about Manydown”

A total of 30 of us from eight schools in Basingstoke  attended three workshops on Manydown.  We ranged in age from 10 to 16 years and we were put into groups that mixed up the schools. We got on so well – everyone worked together and listened to each others’ ideas.

We looked at what makes a good place to live, work and play in and details of the proposed Manydown development. Then in our groups we investigated and prepared presentations on what we  wanted to see in the new community. At the end of the third workshop we presented to the teams working on the Manydown plans from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council, including local councillors. It was great to be listened to . The success of these three workshops and our contribution and enthusiasm led to a decision to continue with the workshops.