Playground Safety Surfacing
Ensuring the safety of every visitor to the playground is our main priority here at Hand Made Places. The right surfacing option helps to prevent injury and it can also deliver added benefits to keep the playground in use all year round.
Guidelines under the BS EN 1177 playground standard calls for impact-absorbing surfaces to be provided with equipment with a free fall height of 600mm or more. Surfacing can include grass, loose-fill material and synthetic surfacing. The type of soft surface required can depend on a number of factors including the size of the surface area, cost, maintenance, durability and the type of equipment in the playground.
Accessibility can also be a determining factor. While grass is a good, all-purpose surface, the UK climate can sometimes turn grass surface playgrounds into muddy and boggy fields. Grass also offers limited accessibility, particularly for those using wheelchairs or other mobility aids. Some of these issues can be offset through the addition of grass mats, which help to protect the ground. But in terms of providing an accessibly designed playground, or for added play value, other surfacing options may be considered.
Artificial grass and play carpet is particularly inviting. This type of welcoming environment can encourage those who may be shy or nervous to take part in playground activities. It also offers low maintenance and its bright, fun appearance clearly marks out the playground area.
Synthetic materials such as wet pour surfacing or bound rubber mulch are best for accessibility. Delivering both functionality and durability, these surface options provide good all-weather surfacing which can be kept clean and is easy to maintain.
Loose-fill materials such as wood chippings gives a natural finish to playgrounds but can be easily displaced and so difficult to maintain.
To discuss your playground surfacing options as part of a playground project, get in touch with our team of friendly advisers.