Designing a safe playground with soft protective surfaces

It’s a natural inclination for a child to explore a play environment which means running and climbing on play equipment that can be much taller than they are which obviously brings a number of risks that need to be met.

Designing a safe playground is a skill because the safety of the playground users is not only paramount but the soft safety surfaces of the playground must meet various rules and regulations.

Schools are increasingly being required to provide a range of outdoor environments to deliver experiences and this is obviously a great opportunity for children of various abilities and all ages.

However, it’s also vital that these play areas are designed with the children’s needs being balanced with the legal requirements and the budget available.

Use specialists in providing soft protective surfaces

It’s at this point that having a conversation with a soft surface playground specialists such a Soft Surfaces Ltd could really pay dividends as they are more than willing to share their experience and expertise in delivering the very best playground experience possible.

The company has worked on lots of different playgrounds around the UK and have established themselves as being one of the best providers of playground protection equipment, as well as playground equipment itself.

There’s a wealth of information available online about what an organisation or school can do to help provide the very best playground experience.

All providers of soft surface impact protection equipment must appreciate that the process of allowing children to adventure and play will lead to the inevitable falls and trips whilst using playground equipment.

That’s why it’s imperative to provide essential playground protection that is geared to providing the full protection for the equipment being used.

The range of suitable surfaces to protect children using a playground range from the wet pour material which is an impact absorbing surface which offers the greatest safety performance. It’s also cost-effective and durable.

Wetpour is the material that can be coloured or just left as a plain black surface is also fast-draining when wet and so can be used around the year. It’s also excellent for wheelchair users.

Using the best quality of wet pour will ensure many years of trouble-free use even in the busiest of playgrounds and it will retain its protective properties in all weathers.

Playground providers will have to meet BS EN 1177

It’s important too that the wet pour is tested to the British Standards Institute EN 1177 requirement because poor quality versions will not do what those responsible for the playground are expecting.

Made from recycled car tyres, wet pour is the choice for many playgrounds to ensure the correct level of fall protection safety surface is provided.

There are other materials which provide a soft and safe protection for users in a playground. The best known is bark which is also the cheapest option, though it’s not quite as popular as it once was.

Those responsible for designing the safety of a playground and its equipment should also look at using plastic mats with holes to allow the grass below to grow through. In a short time, the mats will not be visible and the grass will cover it over.

These plastic mats are also a useful addition to any playground because they can be easily replaced should they be damaged or deteriorate over time.

For more information about designing a safe playground and the role that Soft Surfaces Ltd could play in providing protection, contact the experts on 01625 445760 who will be pleased to help on visit their website at

The British Standards Institute also provides a useful leaflet for schools and colleges wanting to design a playground which can be found at

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