7 thoughts on “Natural Play – Bridging the Gap Between Playground and ‘Wild Time’

  1. Interesting stuff. I’m on the committee for our village play area and hadn’t considered natural playgrounds. It’s a rural area, but I do still like the idea of this. We need to do an overhaul of the old equipment so I will def give this some thought. I imagine there could be some insurance issues with installing bespoke (i.e. untested) play equipment, if it can’t be shown to meet current safety standards. Cheers, Leper.

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    • Hello fellow Leper, from what I remember when we did this at Epping Forest, it was covered by our public liability up until the point that anything is concreted in place or any fixtures and fittings are added and it crosses the boundary into man-made equipment (but don’t quote me on that). It’s checked on a rota by staff for any dangerous degradation/sticky out bits and periodic photos taken to monitor change and decay. The one potential issue is people setting fire to it, but even then it’s of less consequence than it might be for a man-made structure,

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  2. Certainly, the opportunity for children to be creative and use their imaginations, whilst running around in the fresh air, is vital.

    Though not tagged as natural play, the Scrapstore Playpod scheme also moves away from playgrounds designed by adults, which are full of ‘fixed’ apparatus that can only be played with in a limited manner. By giving children loose items of scrap to play with, they are no longer constrained by the adult view of the world.

    The tricky bit is for the playground assistants to ‘unthink’ the usual Health & Safety constraints. Dynamic risk assessments are de rigeur.

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    • Though I’m clearly an eco-bod with a bizarre dead tree fetish, I’m pro any play structures that are more irregular and unplanned – they help to develop hand-eye coordination and the ability to assess risk quicker (so i’ve heard).

      I do like trees though.

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