Can Any Mulch Be Used As A Playground Surface?

It is recognised that public play areas can significantly increase the quality of life for young people and children. In recent years we have become more accustomed to a greater consideration being given to the spaces between the play equipment, as well as the overall look-and-feel of the play area. While a wider range of natural products and materials are being used to stimulate imaginative play.

With this in mind, choosing a playground surface to complement your playground equipment might seem like a daunting task. While there are so many similar surfacing options you might wonder if a general-purpose landscaping surface, like mulch or wood chip, could be used as a flooring for your playground. But can you use any old mulch as a playground surface?

Play grade Playground Chip

The short answer is no. You can’t and shouldn’t use any old landscaping mulch for a playground surface.

Playground chip must meet the British Standards which will class it as ‘play grade’. If you buy play grade play chip you can be assured that your playground will meet safety standards and legal requirements. So, although it might look like garden centre bark mulch, play grade play chip is a very different product.

Play chip is usually made up from a variety of different woods, either hard or soft or sometime a mixture of both. They are chipped and screened to ensure a consistent size. Long or sharp pieces which might cause injury will be removed. Play grade play chip is free from additives, toxins and chemical treatment.

Play grade wood chip will also have been tested for critical fall heights. These tests ensure that a child would be free from a serious injury if they were to fall from a height onto the play surface. Trusted suppliers of your play grade play chip will be able to provide this information to you on request.

For more information about what makes a play grade play chip, take a look at our other Eco blog ‘What Makes a Play Grade Play Surface’.

Eco is a trusted supplier of Play Grade Play Chip which is tested in accordance with British Standards. Large or small quantities are available for purchase.