Natural play features are becoming an increasingly common sight in our playgrounds. Features such as boulders, sand play areas, logs, stepping stones and tree trunks are often preferred to (and cheaper than) manufactured playground equipment. With careful design, natural play areas can provide a unique experience for children that combines play, learning and challenge with acceptable risk.
Natural play areas should be considered as playgrounds and should be risk assessed in line with EN1176 (Part 1). It is recommended that they are inspected and risk-assessed at least annually by an independent specialist. Play Services Ireland can provide a unique service that combines our knowledge of playground inspections with our wider experience in risk assessment.
Our inspection service for natural play areas includes:
- Detailed inspection of all relevant equipment and other associated risks such as surfacing, boundaries and fencing and ancillary items
- Detailed photography, particularly where non-compliance is identified
- A comprehensive report, detailing all aspects of compliance or failure for each item of equipment – the report also includes a schedule of required maintenance work
We can also provide consultancy services at the design stage of natural play schemes and have experience of working alongside landscape architects to create amazing natural play areas.