How Long Does Playground Chip Last?

There are many benefits to using a natural, sustainably sourced product for surfacing a playground, like playground chip, over a manmade surface like shredded tyres or rubber mulch.

Why Playground Chip?

Playground chip, or bark nuggets, are both ideal surfaces for using in children’s playgrounds. These products have many other uses too, such as for landscaping purposes, or as a surface in a beer garden (if grass becomes worn out due to the amount of traffic). Other popular uses for playground chip might be for certain areas in caravan and camping sites or other tourist attractions.

The brilliant thing about playground chip is that it is natural. And if a sustainably sourced, undyed product is selected you can rest assured there are no nasty chemicals hiding in it, so it’s plant, animal and environmentally friendly, with no risk of the dye coming out on the children’s clothes – avoiding unwanted complaints from angry parents!

Some Benefits of Using Playground Chip

Safe for Landing

It’s a safe surface for children to land on if they fall or trip while playing.

Suppress Weeds

Both playground chip and bark nuggets can suppress weed growth. This means that there’s limited maintenance involved for the site manager.


It looks good! Playground chip provides a natural, wholesome appearance for your playground. When we choose outdoor play, we want to offer children an organic, green, natural alternative to playing indoors on electronic devices. A playground chip surface helps to promote this image of healthy outdoor play.

Benefits the Environment

Choosing to use a natural, chemical free product will also benefit the soil and surrounding environment as it naturally decomposes it returns nutrients to the soil. This improves the environment.

Ease of Use

Importantly, playground chip and bark nuggets are easy to install, and easy to dispose of at the end of life. Some maintenance may be required to occasionally rake the chips back into place around heavily used areas such as at the bottom of slides or around swings.

Year-Round Use

Playground chip, and bark nuggets alike, provide excellent drainage. This make them perfect surfaces to choose to allow year-round play.


Playground chip has a lifespan of around 2-3 years, and bark nuggets slightly longer at 2-4 years. After this time the surface should be removed and replaced. However, one of the benefits of choosing a natural product like playground chip, over something like rubber mulch, means that you don’t have to remove all of the old surface; some of the old product can be left behind to help improve the soil beneath with more being put over the top to replenish the old surface.

The lifespan of playground chip will also depend on how well used the area is. If it has been selected for use in a rarely walked on area (more for decorative purposes), it will last longer. If it’s being used in a busy playground, it may need topping up occasionally. As mentioned previously, in heavy traffic areas some displacement will naturally occur, e.g. at the bottom of slides. This can easily be raked back into place, and with minimal maintenance the playground will continue to look great.

Eco Sustainable Solutions supply Eco Bark & Mulch: Playground Chippings and bark nuggets for use as playground surfaces or for landscaping. Both products are made with sustainably sourced wood and bark and meet the British Standard BS: EN: 1177.

In addition Eco’s bark nuggets are a play grade product which is RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) endorsed, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified and fire tested to British Standard BS4790.