Children have an abundance of energy so why not harness it to generate electricity?
That’s the concept behind a proposed new play park where power would be created by a roundabout and other playground equipment.
Kirkcaldy-based enterprise Peachy Keen hopes to transform neglected land in the grounds of a neighbouring church into a human energy play park capable of generating enough electricity by day to light it at night.
It has submitted ambitious plans to Fife Council, which it hopes will be approved, allowing it to press ahead with the innovative development at St Bryce Kirk, in the Fife town’s Kirk Wynd.
As well as a roundabout, the park would include a hand crank, a pedal pod, a water window, a water vortex and an interestingly-named ‘reaction wall cow’, all of which would generate electricity to light the park.
If it proves a success, the park could be followed by similar initiatives.
Peachy Keen designs and manufactures products which use human movement to generate electricity and takes its apparatus, including an energy-producing bike, to events.
It already makes play equipment which can generate LED lights and sound effects.
Director Andrew Bowie said the concept for the renewable energy community play park had been in the pipeline for more than a year but Covid-19 had put the brakes on it.
He said: “Our workshop is right beside St Bryce Kirk and they had this area of land, so we just decided to ask them if they would be open to a partnership, which they agreed to with open arms.
“In essence, the idea is to put in a series of activities that will produce electricity that can be stored, and the excess could be used to light the paths around the area – that sort of thing.”
More human energy parks could follow
He hopes to follow-up the play park with more renewable energy facilities but says its success is dependent on the reception from council planners and the public.
But he added: “The help we’ve received from Fife Council in developing the application has been great and we’re aiming to make the play park as inclusive as possible so it can be used by people from the age of five to 105.
“The people involved with St Bryce Kirk have also been absolutely first class.
“They are obviously getting something that is going to add to the various activities that they have on offer, on an area of ground that has been neglected for years, so the whole community has been very enthusiastic about the whole process.”
Historic St Bryce Kirk has been a centre of worship in Kirkcaldy for more than 140 years.
The human energy play park would be located in a section of garden facing Kirk Wynd.