Using Bark and Woodchip for kids safe play surfaces

Manufacturers and suppliers of natural wood play surface material all call it by different names, but basically it's all the same stuff, natural wood bark or natural wood chippings.

Play bark is usually more expensive than wood chippings but all serve the same purpose, as safe surfaces in children's play grounds. Make sure the bark or chippings is tested to BS EN 1177: 1998 safety standards 

Bark and wood chipings both make safe and attractive play surfaces
Bark and wood chipings both make safe and attractive play surfaces

Pine Nuggets Playbark is the top of the range and the most durable, though also the most expensive. Ideal for prestigious play areas. 

Pine Based Playbark is a smaller pine nugget based product. Long lasting, clean and attractive. 

Hardwood play chip A great balance between appearance, durability and economy. Made from mixed sustainable hardwoods. Chippings are a good choice for busy play areas

Softwood play chip, Clean, hard wearing and free draining, it makes a great economy play surface. Perfect for large play areas where economy and safety are paramount.
  • Suggested Laying depth for domestic garden play areas is 100-150mm Laying depth for critical fall height of 5m as recommended by  RoSPA (Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents)  is 300mm minimum

Critical fall heights for softwood play grade woodchip

Depth of play area Tested critical fall height
100mm > 1.42m
300mm > 3.5m