Play Area Surfaces – Build the Perfect Play Area

Play Area Surfaces

When I was growing up the idea that kids should play on safe, non-toxic and non- sharp surfaces simply did not exist. Playground surfaces were routinely made out of solid concrete and if you were lucky enough to have some sand to play with in the garden, it was usually because there was some building work on the go at the time! Thankfully times have changed and there are many types of safe surfaces available to use in the garden  and today we ill be looking at the three most popular.

Rubber Play Chippings

Made from recycled car tyres and with great eco-friendly credentials, rubber play chippings are probably the most popular way of providing a colourful and safe play area for kids. Available in vibrant reds and blues, as well as the more traditional landscaping colours of browns and greens, these stunning looking chippings can break falls from swings, slides and other playing apparatus up to 2.2mtrs high when the manufactures instructions are followed correctly. Play chippings are non-toxic, don’t stain clothes or skin and look great in the garden. Many of our customers use rubber chippings to bring colour and brightness to borders and edges and unlike organic bark this product can last up to 20 years with minimal maintenance.  A winner for kids and parents!

play area

Play Bark

Play Bark looks and feels like traditional garden bark, but goes through different processes in the production stage to make it more rounded, softer on the foot and inflammable, thus reducing most of the usual risks associated with untreated bark. One of the benefits of using this traditional looking bark is that it looks very natural in the garden environment and can be blended in to the existing landscaping features whilst still providing a safe play area for kids. An added benefit is that play bark tends to last longer than normal landscaping bark. Look for the British Standard of BS EN 1177 to guarantee that your play bark iscertified to the highest standard.

Play Bark

Play Sand

Create the beach in your own back garden! No long uncomfortable journeys to the coast with tired and bored children, just build your own DIY sand pit, add a bucket and spade and get the deck chairs out. To be honest, you can’t really beat a good family day out at the seaside, but you can create hours of fun for kids at home. Play sand is finely graded silica sand that has being washed of all impurities and toxins to create lovely, clean soft sand. It won’t leave your children covered in stains or marks and the only difficulty you may encounter is getting them to leave their new “beach”. Hours of family guaranteed and the good thing is it can even be used indoors

 Play Sand

Top 10 Decorative Aggregates

I was originally going to call this the “UK’s top 10 decorative gravels”, but my pedantic side took over and I renamed it, because as all landscapers know, the slate products are not gravels but by-products from the slate mining industry.

I have compiled this list from my experience in the decorative aggregates industry and our own customer purchase history, but it is my no means a definitive list, regional variations make that very difficult to do.

Golden Gravel

Golden Grave is without doubt the UK’s number 1 bestselling decorative aggregate. Available in both 10 and 20mm variants (the 10mm is usually referred to as Golden Flint), this golden, beige and cream coloured flint is warm looking when dry and vibrant when wet and can be used on all landscaping or gardening projects.

Golden Gravel

Plum Slate

Mined in North Wales, Plum Slate is a by-product of the slate industry. This very popular aggregate is used extensively nationwide and looks particularly great on large coverage areas or driveways. Plum Slate is available in both 20mm and 40mm variations, though 40mm is generally the most popular

 Plum Slate

Pea Gravel

In its decorative form it should really be called quartzite pea gravel. This is not the same type of gravel that you would use for building work or drainage, these lovely round and warm coloured stones are great for using in many garden or hard landscaping projects and the relatively low price is very appealing to people who though they may be on a budget, still wants to add a quality finishing touch to the garden. Pea Gravel is available in 10mm and 20mm sizes.

 Pea Gravel

Cotswold Chips

Nice mellow tones and the ability to bring light and colour to dark areas make Cotswold Chips a firm favourite with buyers of decorative gravel. This is a lovely clean product which looks great in natural surroundings. Available in both 10mm and 20mm sizes.

 Costwold Chip

 

Blue Slate

Slightly less popular than Plum Slate, but deriving from the same source of recycled waste slate products, blue slate looks great in many garden projects and the colour allows it to be matched to a wide variety of different garden themes. Available in both 20mm and 40mm variations.

Blue Slate

Red Chippings

Sometimes call weathered red or harden red, these hard wearing and durable granite chippings are very popular in certain parts of the country. Red Chippings are a great way to provide a colourful contrast to normal browns and greens in landscaping projects

Red Chippings

Limestone Chippings

Sometimes called Dove Grey, Limestone Chippings are a hard grey stone used mainly for paths and driveways. Dusty looking when dry and dark when wet, this gravel is a practical and relatively less expensive than other gravels. Great if you are looking for a natural finish to your project.

Limestone Chippings

Green Chippings

Very popular in certain parts of Glasgow! Fairy subdued colour when dry, turning into vivid green when wet, green granite chippings are popular for their ability to blend into the natural look of many gardens and landscaping projects.

Green Chippings

Oyster Pearl

A lovely mixture of rounded and oyster shapes, with subtle tones of silvers, greys, blues and browns and a consistent size of 20mm. Sometimes called Lomond Pebbles or Beach Shingle this decorative gravel will stand out from the normal pea gravels

Oyster Pearl

Moonstone

Last but not least is the stunning black, white, yellow and grey moonstone. This flint based gravel is becoming increasingly more popular in the UK and will really make your garden stand out from the crowd. Dare to be different and give this flinty decorative aggregate a go.

Moonstone Gravel

Thank you for reading my guide to the UK’s most popular decorative aggregates, please browse the main website for more detailed information on all of our gravels. If you need any further information either call us or use the contact box provided.