This paper examines the life and times of the first 10 years of an adventure playground and the ways in which that playground has been affected by and responded to the opportunities and challenges presented by changes to the prevailing national and local socio-political and economic climate of that decade. The paper explores significant events in the playground's history and the ways in which those events have been influenced by the interrelationship between popular public perceptions of children and their play; the national and local policy context for children, play and playwork; and the implications of such for the playwork practice of those charged with developing and running one of the north of England's flagship playwork provisions. During the latter part of the playground's comparatively short life many of these factors have inevitably contributed to or been played out against a backdrop of ideological political and economic reform popularly termed as austerity. Although the full financial implications for small charitable organisations such as The Big Swing of the present UK government's austerity programme are only just becoming realised, the ideological neoliberal tenets by which they are informed have had a demonstrably detrimental effect on the playground's practice and delivery.