Archive | March, 2016

Fairy House

I’ve just been making this little fairy house for my daughter, a great place to hide her Easter eggs!

Made from Oak logs and little oak doors and windows these are great for outdoor natural play areas.

We have a few of these items in our online shop, or contact us to discuss any specific requirements.

Fairy House, natural play

Fairy house, natural play

Hazels found the eggs first!

Fairy house, natural play

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A Reasonable Risk

A reasonable risk in a play area should be encouraged to help children become aware of their surroundings and actions within those surroundings.

A natural play space will often have more risk, when designed properly a child will be able to see this for themselves and size up the challenges before getting stuck in.

I’ve just come across this great article which sums it up nicely.

Children are suffering under an “excessive risk-averse” culture in schools that is damaging their ability to cope in the real world, the head of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned.

Natural Play, school grounds, playgrounds, a reasonable risk

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Natural stone paving

We have been asked to lay natural stone paving in several early years gardens, the main aim is to create a paved area that has some interest and texture for the children to play on. A paved area can be very useful within a play area and doesn’t need to be a plain uninteresting area.

We have used several different materials for such spaces from logs set vertically and cut level, reclaimed brick and natural stone in various forms.

Below are a few photos of natural Herefordshire stone used firstly in random shapes, as it comes out of the quarry and secondly as ‘pitching’. Both uses create a level but textured surface with colour and interest.

Natural Stone Paving, Play, playgrounds

Natural stone paving, play, water play, playground

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Forest School Shelter

We built this open sided shelter this time last year using chestnut poles and cedar shingles for the roof covering, ideal for a forest school shelter and/ or outdoor teaching the shelter is quick to build and sits nicely in the landscape.

We have made similar buildings and used hazel hurdles for move able walls, this gives a good amount of flexibility of uses depending which activities are happening in the building.

If you have a project in mind we will be happy to talk through your ideas, click here to see more of our outdoor teaching spaces

Forest school Shelter, natural play

Forest school shelter, natural play, outdoor classroom

Forest school shelter, outdoor classroom, natural play

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Play logs

Simple but effective, large natural play logs in a playground will provide endless play opportunities for relatively little cost.

In fact if you contact your local tree surgeon, who may have suitable tree trunks that they will donate for free, the most expense will probably be spent on transport.

If you do get some freebies just make sure there are no sharp edges or branches poking out, if so get your keen volunteers to saw them of and sand them down as much as possible.

We keep our eyes out for great logs that will make good play features so if you get stuck or want something a bit special please do get in touch.

Natural play, log, playground, school, play logs

Natural play, log, school, playground, play logs



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Water play channel

One of the slider images on our home page is of this great little water play area we built in a private garden in south Wales.

The water comes from a water butt and slowly works its way along the narrow channel set in the slate patio, at the edge of the patio the water is collected in a channel carved into a green oak railway sleeper, it then trickles off the end into the sandpit.

Hours of fun, for us making it and the kids playing in it!

Natural water play, natural play, water

Natural water play, natural play

Natural water play channel, natural play

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Den building Kit Delivered

A den building kit recently made and delivered to a local holiday park.

The frames are very easy to install requiring just three holes, four bolts and a reasonable amount of muscle. We are happy to provide a quote to install these frames of you can use the instructions and a few volunteers to construct one in a few hours. We will be happy to help over the phone if needed.

For pricing please visit the online shop.

Den frame, natural play, copper beech play, den building kit

Den building, natural play, timber, den building kit

Delivered safely, and free of charge!

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Natural Climbing Frame

A few photos of a large natural climbing frame we built a few years ago. The frame incorporates two crows nests several balance ropes and two scramble nets to give endless play opportunities.

Natural Play frame

Natural Play frame








Natural Play frame

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Natural Play Tunnel

The photos below show two large natural play tunnels we installed at a school in Swindon. The children just love these tunnels, as you can see they provide adventure and an opportunity to chillax with friends!

These pipes are supplied in six meter lengths, however transport becomes an issue (expensive) if kept in this length so we recommend using the pipe in three meter sections.

We can supply bends and T sections to fit this pipe, with careful design and consideration regarding drainage and access a great warren could be built to provide endless fun for children and adults alike.

Natural Play Tunnel

Natural play tunnel

Natural Play Tunnel

Natural play tunnel

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School Veg. Beds

The sun is out and I think spring is officially here!?

Helen has been working hard to get our raised beds at home ready for planting and I know many schools will be keen to get some growing space ready for spring planting.

The beds below are made from long cedar boards that can be bent to a curve quite easily. Alternatively we use half width green oak railway sleepers to make beds about 200mm high x 2400mm x 1200mm, ideal for children to work on and very quick to install.

School grounds natural play

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Natural Play Sandpit

A sandpit creates a great, low cost natural play space that can be added to and enhanced over time. By using carefully placed large rocks for edging we can create all sorts nooks and crannies for imaginative play. A smooth plank and blocks of wood will encourage building projects and incredible creations, add a little water and your children will be in heaven!

Below are just a few sandpits we have made in private gardens and schools.

Rocks can create a fascinating edge to a sandpit

Sandpit, water channel, natural play

Early years, sandpit, play

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Natural Play Climbing Frames

We have designed and built many and varied climbing structures and play frames throughout the UK. Below are a few examples of some of our favourites.

We will generally use pealed chestnut poles for large frames, these are sanded smooth and oiled to give a lovely tactile, durable and safe surface. We also make frames from oak with the bark left on, this gives a more natural look and feel and is again long lasting, all our timber comes from well managed sustainable woodlands.

If you have a project in mind we will be happy to talk through your ideas and provide sketches and costings for a play frame designed specifically for your project, please get in touch if you would like to discuss your project.

Natural Play Platform before surfacing

Natural Play Net

Natural Play

Natural Play frame



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