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Natural Playground in Hertford | Timber vs. Traditional Playground Materials

Playground equipment of any kind provides developmental benefits for children. However, common materials used in playground design and construction are not all created equally. Timber stands above metal and plastic alternatives as the superior material for the optimal playground experience. Of course, our natural playgrounds contain metallic and plastic elements – for example, you can’t make climbing frames entirely from wood. But when it comes to public or school playground equipment, predominantly timber construction simply can’t be beaten.


If you’re considering options for your own playground equipment in the Hertford area, we have outlined below some of the ways in which a natural playground containing mostly wood elements far exceeds any alternatives.


To take your first step toward premium-quality school playground equipment and climbing frames, speak with one of our playground design experts on 0207 254 7282.


Assessing Playground Materials


First, we can safely say that commercial-grade plastic doesn’t provide an alternative to wood or metal when it comes to outdoor playground equipment. Yes, it does have a bright, attractive quality, and it also offers a softer landing should a child take a tumble. However, it’s less durable than both wood and metal, so is primarily used for indoor play equipment.


The second alternative to wood playground equipment and climbing frames comes in the form of metal, usually steel. When in warm, dry climates, steel offers great durability. Unfortunately, Hertford, and the UK as a whole, isn’t always dry and warm!


In the wet, steel can be subject to rust, and when it gets too hot, it can cause contact burns. The recent development of polyvinyl coatings has helped to reduce the impact of rust, at least. This coating can be torn through, though, still allowing entire decks to rust through.


However, steel still makes the most appropriate material for certain large, high-traffic school playground equipment. For example, modern playground designs still use it for slides and swings.


This brings us to wood, and natural playgrounds in general. Wooden playground equipment works perfectly in residential and scenic locations around Hertford alike. In the former, it adds a warm, natural appearance to offset bricks and concrete, while in the latter, it blends into the environment itself, minimising any jarring effect.


No matter the location, timber climbing frames and other playground equipment simply looks better than metal or plastic.


While wooden playground designs do need more maintenance, repair work usually only involves replacing a single board or post. This keeps downtime and costs to a minimum.


Perhaps most importantly, natural playgrounds have been proven to stimulate children’s minds more than traditional alternatives. This plays a huge role in their overall development, especially in regard to imagination and creativity.


To view examples of the results our playground design team produce in Hertford and across the UK, please visit the Portfolio page.

For more information about natural playgrounds in and around the Hertford area, call Theories Landscapes on 0207 254 7282. We offer fully bespoke solutions.