play ranger logo copy
map markerWhat are Play Rangers?

Play Rangers are playworkers who facilitate and support children's play in outdoor environments.

Children have increasingly less freedom to roam and play out than their parents and their parents parents. Combined with increased parental fear of traffic, strangers, and other dangers, means that children are often unable to access their local community green spaces unsupervised.

Play Rangers are there to facilitate children's play, encourage greater use of community green space through play and to supervise and support children to play.

Play Rangers was first brought to Northampton in 2008 via funding to Northampton Borough Council from the Big Lottery Project. In the 4 year funded project we were able to provide 9859 children and young people with the opportunity to play outdoors

Since moving over to Northampton leisure Trust in April 2011 we have continued to deliver Play Ranger sessions both during school holidays and after school by working with local Councillors, and Parish Councils.

map markerOpen Access Provision - Parents and Guardians Important Information

Play Rangers is an open access provision which means children can come and go as they please. We operate to the ‘3 Free Principles’ as follows:


1. Play Rangers is FREE of charge at the point of entry: No child should be required to pay to use a Play Rangers because play is a fundamental right of all children. Sessions have been funded by Northamptonshire Community Foundation.
2. Free to come and go: Children must feel the freedom to choose when they want to arrive and leave Platy Rangers. No child should feel confined to a Play Ranger session.
3. Free to choose - In order to assist in the development of self esteem and confidence children should be able to choose what activities they wish to be involved in when attending a Play Ranger session.

At each Play Ranger session we create an environment where children are free to choose. Our Play Ranger staff will attempt to facilitate children’s play by showing children what is on offer and encourage active participation. If children so wish, staff are trained to initiate group games and introduce more structured play activity. However, the first priority is to encourage children to determine and control the content and intent of their play, by following their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own ways and for their own reasons.

Additional Information:

  • These activities will take place come rain or shine; therefore we ask that children come suitably prepared for these eventualities.There is also the potential that children might get muddy!
  • Children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by an adult, whilst children over the age of 8 are reminded that they are responsible for their own actions at all times.
  • In some unforeseen circumstances, Play Rangers hold the right to cancel these sessions.
  • Although we appreciate Play Rangers in an open access provision in public spaces, we ask that parents refrain from smoking or vaping whilst attending Play Ranger sessions.
  • Under no circumstances will the drinking of alcohol be tolerated during Play Ranger sessions.
  • Under no circumstances will the taking of illegal substances be tolerated.


map markerFREE Holiday Sessions

We currently have no Play Ranger holiday sessions running. We'll keep you posted here.

map markerPlay Ranger - School Buddies

Play Ranger Buddies is a 7 week programme within schools that encourage children to play traditional playground games, which in turn will increase levels of physcial activity, developing leadership skills and improve behaviour during lunchtimes on the playground.

Below is an example report for a Play Ranger buddies programme funded by Northamptonshire Community Foundation', and in partnership with St Mary's Primary in Northampton.

Play Ranger Buddies St Marys Primary Report

map markerCase Studies

Please click on the links below to read our case studies including participants and volunteers

Play Streets Volunteer Case Study