Posted by on 16 April 2021
The Grass Factory first became involved in this project via a funding specialist who worked with local parish councils. He explained that a children’s playground in Selby, North Yorkshire, was equipped with a bark chip surface but the material was frequently washed away during periods of heavy rain and localised flooding. The local council was therefore looking for a more lasting artificial grass solution that would remain safe for children while keeping ongoing maintenance costs low.
Here, an important consideration was safety and, in particular, the need to install certifiable protection that took account of the existing playground equipment and critical fall heights. The play area featured various pieces of play equipment, the tallest of which was a ‘fireman’s ladder’, which reached a height of over 3 metres. In most other areas, the typical critical fall height was around 1.2 metres.
Shock-absorbing pads can be installed under artificial grass to reduce the risks of falling injuries, and different thicknesses/products should be specified to suit different critical fall heights. Staff from the Grass Factory therefore put together a proposal that would meet all the necessary safety certification requirements.
The project entailed:
In most areas, a 25mm layer of ShockPad was installed, but greater thicknesses were used under taller pieces of playground equipment. The artificial turf chosen for the project had a pile height of just 14mm. This looks less naturalistic than many other synthetic grasses and is not considered a traditional ‘landscaping’ grass, but it is extremely hardwearing and ideal for heavily used play areas. To improve its robustness even further, it was dressed with silica sand, which protects the fabric backing and helps to keep the fibres standing upright.
The project was installed on budget and met all technical and safety certification requirements.