Percussion and Play Project

Help us enhance play in Bute Park!

As our visitors will know, Bute Park does not have a playground in the traditional sense, but we do have a woodland balance trail, numerous sculptures as well as a wealth of natural play opportunities.
This fundraising campaign will focus on enhancing play opportunities further and follows the success of the ‘Help save “Pumba”’ campaign.

Our team have selected new equipment that will give park visitors different experiences in nature that are inclusive, interactive and increase play opportunities in Bute Park. This next improvement project seeks to install the following items:
• Two different sized bable drums
• Hanging chimes
• A vertical wooden xylophone
• A handmade playable sculpture
• Accessible installation bays for the percussion equipment
• Two magnifying glass posts
• Interpretation panels

These will be located near the existing woodland balance trail through the area known as “Old Man’s Woods” and will allow visitors to go on a musical journey exploring sounds and textures.

Your donation

The innovative Bute Park Improvement Project Donation Scheme is funded by generous direct visitor donations, proceeds from sales at some Bute Park refreshment outlets, and discretionary donations made when certain park-based event tickets are purchased.

The Percussion and Play project was selected as park user feedback suggested play opportunities within Bute Park could be enhanced.

Your donation will add variety and create spaces that have sensory play opportunities for all.

These new additions will bring learning and fun for visitors regardless of their age or ability.


This project will fund five pieces of interactive accessible musical and percussion play equipment plus additional items.

• Two Bable Drums

Babel Drums are a part of the family of percussion instruments that consists of Hand pans, Hank, Tank, and Tongue Drums.

The small Babel Drum is tuned to a C major pentatonic scale with 6 notes, producing a pure tone that is warm and has plenty of clarity to it.

The large stainless steel tongue drum can create beautiful melodies with remarkably long sustain. This drum has an eight-note layout in G-Major, the sound is amazing.

These drums are sensory-rich and can be played with the hands and fingers. These drums are perfect for using for music therapy and relaxation.

No previous drumming experience is required to play a Babel Drum and both children and adults will enjoy improvising with the mesmerizing sounds they produce. The mellow tones are never brassy or too loud – perfect for musical exploration in the fresh air.

• Spiral Scraper

Our team have selected a musical scraper with a highly sculptural hand-built design which is both musically and visually appealing.

The different length bars can be tapped or scraped to produce a range of tones which rise in pitch towards the centre of the sculpture.

This sculpture will be accessible from both sides and playable with beaters or small sticks that you might find in the park.

• Tuned Chimes

A set of 7 individually tuned chimes mounted in a wooden frame produce bright, sustained tones.

This sculpture can be played from both sides to encourage paired playing.

It is playable with beaters or small sticks that you might find in the park.

• Vertical Xylophone

To complement the metal sculpture and the tuned chines we plan to install an 8 note xylophone made from extremely durable FSC certified hardwood.

The hardwood keys produce a rich, earthy tone when tapped with a beater. These instruments are ideal for playing simple chords and melodies. They produce warm, marimba-like tones and are playable from both sides.

• Magnifying Glass Posts

We will be adding to our educational play opportunities by installing two magnifying glass posts.

These “mag posts” are a fun way for people to explore the natural world close-up and encourage experimentation to stimulate discovery of science through play.

• Interpretation boards

We will also install 2 interpretation boards at the beginning and end of the trail as part of the project.

Accessibility is important to us, and we will be installing buggy and wheelchair bays, off our existing high-quality paths to allow access whatever the weather.

This project will encourage visitors to spend more time outdoors, make music together, discover sounds and explore the natural world close-up.


The  new percussion and play equipment will be installed along the path that runs through Old Man’s Wood from Blackfriars Friary to the Woodland Balance Trail.