From the ‘its already there’ grass, through to wood chip, shredded rubber, bonded rubber, grass mats and even artificial grass you can be sure that whatever the choice, they will all have their strengths and weaknesses.
If covering the entire climbing frame play area with a safety surface you will need to note that the play system/climbing frame footprint plus an additional 2m safety area needs to be laid. The perimeter will also need to have a border or framework to ensure the surfacing is neatly kept within the safety zone.
Suggestions for the border might be, gravel board, half log rolls (found in garden centres), oak sleepers or even specially designed rubber kerbstones.
Lowest cost option for climbing frames in lawned Gardens
Least durable option as heavy traffic areas can end up as bear earth
Can be difficult and time consuming to mow and you need to strim around the play structure, which can cause damage if made from wood
It can sometimes be used in commercial playgrounds as a safety surface for fall heights up to 1.5m
Reasonably cost effective and easy to install surfacing which retains a natural look
Can require more maintenance as raking will be required in high traffic areas due to the displacement of chips during play
Natural and bio-degradable but has a limited life span and will require topping up at regular intervals over the years
As a loose surface it may be attractive to wildlife which may leave small deposits
Requires some form of surround to retain the bark as it is a loose surface.
After time it can become dirty to play in when wet.
Either laid over the entire play area or in high traffic areas such as the end of slides, under swings and frame access points
Mats are 1m x 1.5m in size and are made from black honey combed rubber
Can be easily laid
Grass grows through the mats and can mowed about the surface of the mat
Mowing and strimming will still remain a challenge and damage to wooden play structures can result if not done properly
Good long term and cost effective surfacing investment
Durable and long lasting it does not break down like wood chip or play bark
Eco Friendly, made from recycled forklift truck tyres and manufactured to look like wood bark
It comes in a variety of colours
Requires some form of surround to retain the rubber as it is a loose surface
A permanent solution with minimal maintenance required
A combination of Shredded rubber and a binding agent, mixed and laid to the play area ensuring there is no displacement
Levels of safety are maintained all year round
Allows easy clearance of leaves and natural debris
More expensive than other solutions but the advantages an outweight the extra cost