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A play circuit and Portesham tower in Plymouth

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Completed a week or two before the new term commences we were asked to install some new play equipment for a primary school here in Devon. The school has a nicely secluded play area with lots of space for playground equipment.

The wooden play tower at the primary school in Plymouth

The wooden Portesham tower provides lots of fun challenges for the children


A nice surprise awaits the children of Eggbuckland Vale Primary School in Plymouth when they return to school in a few days time. The outdoor play equipment consists of a wooden Portesham tower with climbing frame and a figure of eight play track complete with road markings.

The wood built play tower has its own roof, a raised deck area with climbing ramp for access and a rope walk over to a second smaller tower which has a traditional slide to exit back to ground. Built entirely from sustainably sourced timber which comes with a 20 year guarantee, the Portesham play tower is built over rubber safety surfacing.

The wooden play towers are bespoke and can be designed to fit the play space that you have and can include the features that you want. To see more of our bespoke play towers please click here

School playground racetrack with the wooden play tower in the background


The play track is shaped in a figure of eight and has white centre line markings. The track is made using wet pour safety surfacing which provides a nice smooth surface with lots of grip in all weathers. With a pedestrian crossing to the play tower and two artificial grass islands the track will be a great play space for children to ride bikes and scooters.

To see more of the safety surfacing that we offer please click here.

Built during the school holidays at the request of the primary school we hope the play area will benefit from the late warm spell that we are having here in Devon.

A busy summer for Outdoor Play

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It is always nice to hear positive feedback following the installation of play equipment. This summer has been particularly busy with our install teams working at schools and parks across the south west and beyond.

Although we install play equipment nationally, much of our work is relatively local. One such job was the play climber that we built and installed at Newtown Primary school in Exeter here in Devon.
Wooden play climber with climbing wallThe initial enquiry was received by us in the Spring of this year and we duly visited the school to view the play area and to discuss their requirements for new playground equipment. Described as ‘The village school in the heart of the city’ Newtown Primary school is tucked away in central Exeter and has limited outside playground space.

Playground equipment installed at Newtown SchoolOur challenge was therefore to design and install the playground equipment that they opted for in the limited space available and that is exactly what we did ! We designed a bespoke climber that incorporates so many features including a traversing wall, clatter bridge, monkey bars, spider netting, climbing grabs and much more.

Outdoor play equipment for schools

The climber and accessories were then surrounded with liquid pour safety surfacing which provides a soft compound to help avoid injury should a child fall. The safety surfacing is multicoloured to give the play equipment a bright and colourful appearance that it deserves.

Children playing on a traversing wallDuring the tendering process the school made it clear that they were looking for play equipment that ‘provided challenge and excitement’ and so that is what we delivered ! Whereas many schools prefer installation to occur during holidays, Newton Primary were happy for us to work during term time.

Play equipmet installed on coloured safety surfacing

As Sally the headteacher pointed out, they were keen for the children to see the construction of the play area rather than for it to magically appear following a holiday.

Colourful safety surfacing in school play areaFrom quoting to completing the build, this playground equipment project was turned around in just a few weeks and has proven very popular with the children of the school.  We certainly enjoyed the job and are very pleased with the outcome. You can read Sally’s letter here:

Newtown Primary School

Outdoor play UK buys a new truck

All aboard the play truck !

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With the team busy installing play equipment we thought it was time to nip out and buy a new truck to help us transport the play equipment to schools and parks.

The new Outdoor Play truck allows us to carry out more playground installations. It comes with a good-sized flat bed with hinged sides to carry the timber we use to build the play units and climbing frames and a nice lockable tool box to keep our tools dry and secure.

Emblazoned without company logo and themed art work it’s off to work we go to the next job where we’re installing swings and slides at a holiday park in Devon.

Timber play equipment of safety surfacing

Play equipment refurbishment

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We were called by a Devon school to ask if we were able to refurbish some of their outdoor play equipment while recycling as much as possible. In addition to the refurbishment we also made a new climbing trail and laid new bonded rubber mulch safety surface around the play equipment.

The finished product as you can see is a great array of wooden climbing frame, rope walks, climbing ramps and a traditional slide that provide plenty for the children to do at break times.

The best play equipment for children involves a diverse set of physical challenges that allows the kids to practice balancing skills and promote upper body strength while problem solving how to get from A to B without touching the ground.

Impact protection using safety surfacing

To ensure all play areas are safe for children to play we lay a safety surface beneath to protect the kids should they slip of fall. In this case a bonded rubber mulch surface was applied that gives a soft textured feel that promotes grip but also cushions the fall on impact.

Safe and robust safety surface solutions ensure fun can be had while minimising the risk of injury to users of the play equipment. Bonded safety surfacing is also environmentally friendly as it is made using recycled tyres that are shredded to look like wood bark chippings. These rubber shreds are then bonded together using a polyurethane resin that retains a soft feel once it has dried.

If you are looking to replace or install new play equipment please call us for a favourable quote and professional service.

Playground equipment repairs including safety surfacing

Playground equipment repairs

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As the name suggests, our core business is the installation of outdoor play equipment and most of this is carried out at schools, parks and play areas at hotels and holiday parks.

Virtually all of our play equipment comes with a 20 year warranty which ensures that you the customer gets quality play equipment that lasts and lasts.

We do however get calls now and then asking whether we can carry out repairs to existing kit that was installed previously by another company and of course the answer is generally yes.

Safety is paramount with all children’s play. So our main focus is ensuring that all apects of a playground are safe and suitable for kids to roam without coming to any harm.

Safety Surface Repairs

Our full repair and maintenance service includes both play equipment and safety surfacing to a standard that will satisfy your annual ROSPA inspection.

This service generally starts with a site visit to allow us to inspect all aspects of the apparatus. We then supply you with a report that includes recommendations for all equipment. We are able to make repairs to play equipment made from timber, rope, steel or plastic. In addition, all safety surface types can also be repaired or replaced to ensure utmost safety for the children.

Play areas for holiday homes

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Here at Outdoorplay UK we get requests for new play areas from all sorts of sectors including parks, schools and nurseries, sports clubs, camp sites and holiday homes here in in the South West.

At the end of last year we were approached by the operators of the holiday cottages in Devon who were looking to provide more in the way of outdoor play equipment for their visitors. With an abundance of land that borders Dartmoor National Park we went to see what scope there was for their new outdoor play area.

Holiday cottages play area in DevonSpring is on its way now and the play area installation is complete, with lots of new challenges for the children who visit this season. The main attraction is the twin tower play house which is installed over safety surfacing and includes a number of play features including a traditional slide, a swing bridge and a wooden climbing ramp.

The play towers encourage imaginative play for children and can be made to any size to suit the space you have available. Popular in school playgrounds, the play towers also come in themed designs such as play boats and play planes.

A traditional wooden swing in the play areaIn addition to the twin towers, a traditional double flat swing was installed, again over rubber safety flooring. Most of the play equipment we provide is made from responsibly sourced pressure treated timber and comes with our 20 year guarantee.

Also requested was the ever popular pole climber, which again can be designed and built to any size to fit within the play space you have available. Installed over safety surfacing, the pole climbers encourage children to climb and scramble from one pole to another while keeping off the ground.

A wooden pole climberThe assorted wooden spars are arranged at various angles and rope guides are overhead to help with balance and stability. Kids can spend hours playing on pole climbers and the benefit to their core muscles is enormous as they climb, swing and scramble from pole to pole.

With South Devon being such a popular holiday destination more holiday parks and homes are upgrading their play equipment to offer more outdoor play opportunity for their guests.

If you are interested in installing some new play equipment at your premises we would love to come and see what space you have and provide you with a competitive quote to build , supply and install. Whether you’re a fun park, holiday park or any other leisure facility we can provide your commercial playground equipment.

Holywell School playhouse den

A wooden play house for Holywell School in North Devon

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Most children love to have a den to play in where they can retreat and have their own space. Whether it’s up a tree, in the garden or anywhere, dens are cool.

We got a call from Holywell primary school who wanted something different to the usual outdoor play equipment and also had some wooded land within the school grounds where they wanted to encourage the kids to play.

So we visited the school in North Devon to view their play facilities and to see the woodland space then returned to base to get our thinking caps on. Before long, we and came up with some ideas for a wooden playhouse which could be nestled in to the wooded area along with some other play equipment such as a traditional slide or a climbing ramp.

Wooden playhouse den at local schoolAs with all quotes for the installation of new play equipment, we prepared a visual of the proposed den design and how it would look in situ and had a follow-up meeting with the school to see what they thought about the wooden play house design.

It wasn’t long before we got the go ahead to build and install the new play equipment complete with den. We used FSC pressure treated redwood timber to create the play house and the supporting structure. The front of the den is clad with cedar shingles and has two look out port holes that allow the kids to look out from the den.

With both a pull up rope and a climbing ramp to gain access to the den there are a number of ways to get in then when its time to leave, the slide provides a speedy return to the ground. The finished den fits in to the wooded area nicely and provides some shelter from the sun or rain for the children when they play.

To see more of our selection of wooden shelters and classrooms you can click here

More fitness equipment for Appledore Primary School

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In May 2018 we completed the play equipment installation at Appledore Primary School here in Devon. We have returned to the school to inspect the play area on several occasions and are often reminded how much the children like the play boat and musical play instruments. The biggest attractions have been the physical play equipment including the monkey bars and net and rope play products which apparently are swarmed every break time.

It’s now 2019 and the school wants to invest more in its play areas as it recognises the benefit that the outdoor play is having on the kids and in particular the parallel bars monkey bars climbing trees and zig zag ropes.

Climbing poles zig zag ropes and monkey bars

An array of wooden fitness equipment for the kids at Appledore


So after a consultation with the staff at the school we came back to the workshop to see how we could improve the playground facilities and provide more of the play equipment that was proving so popular.

Fitness equipment for primary schools

Fitness equipment seems to be the key at this school so we set about designing a double run of monkey bars at different heights that allow a greater range of height of children to use them. We added block steps to help the children to reach up to the higher bars.

We also designed a range of climbing poles that encourage kids to use their upper body strength to clamber from one pole to another before stepping over to the zigzag ropes.

We prepared some drawings showing how the play equipment would appear on site and showed them to the school. We soon got the go ahead to start the second phase and build the various wooden play equipment ready for the installation.

The area where we were to carry out the play equipment installation already had some old dilapidated kit in place which we had to remove. We then prepared the ground so that it was suitable for the safety surfacing to be applied. Next came the installation of the parallel bars, monkey bars and other wooden fitness equipment.

Monkey ladder play equioment

Wooden play equipment and safety surfacing installed at primary school in Devon


Once installed, we were able to lay the safety flooring and complete the job by adding perimeter fencing to the play area to finish things off.

In addition to the new playground equipment we were asked to provide a wooden shelter to give protection from rain and shine so we also installed a fantastic huge wooden gazebo with its own entrance ramp that provides the children with somewhere to shelter when they are not using the fitness area. With an overhanging roof and half open sides this shelter keeps the rain and wind out but allows an all-round view of the school grounds. When tired from playing there is wooden bench seating all around the gazebo.

A beautiful wooden gazebo for school children

A wooden gazebo shelter complete with bench seating

Before and after the playground installation

What a difference, with the play equipment installed, the school play area has been transformed and now provides some new challenges for the school children in their outdoor play area.

Before and after photo of playground installation

Before and after photo of the playground installation at Appeldore Primary School


All of the wooden fitness and exercise equipment comes with our new 20 year warranty that provides real peace of mind for schools and owners of other play areas. If you are looking to replace or repair your play equipment then please don’t hesitate to call us on 01803 814523 so that we can visit your school, holiday park or other play area to discuss your options.

We install a new feature castle in the school play area over the Christmas break

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We were contacted late last year by the primary school who wanted to have some more outdoor play equipment installed at their play area. We promptly visited the school where we talked about the options for the play castle that they had in mind.

When we got back to base we set about designing the play castle complete with fun extras including the dungeon den, traditional slide, rock holds ramp, scramble net, fireman’s pole and rope bridge. As with all of our play equipment quotes we then created a drawing to demonstrate the proposed design and how it would be constructed using timber from a sustainable source.

A themed castle for childrens play area

A fantastic theme castle for the kids play area at school

Within a week or two, the school gave us the go ahead and we were able to agree a date while the school was closed for the installation of the new play equipment.

Fortunately, the play area already had some very suitable bark flooring so our first job was to create a chunky wooden frame using laminated redwood timbers that come with our 20 year guarantee against rot. This was ideal and saved the school some budget as we didn’t have to lay any safety surface such as rubber mulch surfacing.

Most of the play castle and was constructed using solid wooden timbers which provides a nice natural finish and a very safe and durable solution. The wooden ramp was fitted with rock holds which help the kids to scramble to the top where they can enter the first castle tower. A rope walk bridge then allows them to cross from one tower to the next where they can use the slide to get back down and access the castle’s dungeon den !

Play equipment installed over Christmas holiday goes down a treat

A play castle complete with rope walk, traditional slide and climbing ramp


With the installation complete and the castle looking good we tidied the play area and left it ready for the big surprise that the children would have when they returned to school after the Christmas break.

If you are interested in a similar themed play area such as a castle, boat or plane then please feel free to call us and we can come and see how we can spruce up your park or playground.

Play areas big and small

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When it comes to installing playground equipment no job is too small for us here at Outdoor Play UK. Although we install play areas up and down the country, we also carry out a lot of work at local schools and play parks here in Devon and this summer has been no exception with all manner of work at schools, Academies, holiday parks and local attractions right here on our doorstep.

We love taking on new projects where we provide both the design of play areas for children but also the manufacture of play equipment. Whether it’s making the timeless classics like wooden climbing frames and adventure trails or installing more specific things like musical play equipment it is always good to be involved in a new play area installation.

A wooden play tower for children

A wooden tower for children is great for imaginative play

Much of the wooden play equipment that we supply is made here in our workshops by skilled craftsmen. We enjoy working with wood and timber built play products remain very popular, offering a nice natural and safe solution for children’s play areas. Swings, sandboxes, play towers and climbing frames are some of the most popular playground products favoured by schools and nurseries.

We were pleased to supply this play tower to a local school earlier this month which was installed on mulch and safety surfacing. Within minutes of us completing the work and opening the play area there were plenty of smiley children clambering about on the wooden spas and making their way to the lookout tower. Once up the tower the quickest way is down using the slide before moving on to the next activity.

Wooden play tower with slide

Clamber up and slide down from the wooden play tower

This type of theme play is important for children’s development so we are always looking for new designs for play boats , planes, towers and even castles that provide lots of fun and gets the kids imagination working overtime. At nursery and primary school ages, playtime is a particularly rewarding part of the day for kids as they get the opportunity to use their imagination and burn off some energy.

At Outdoor Play UK we know how to produce play areas that inspire imagination look great and fit in to their environment. All our play equipment is designed to address children’s needs for physical emotional and learning requirements. We use our experience to ensure that we supply and install play equipment that suits the target age group, their abilities and is inclusive so that there is something for everyone. More and more reports are confirming that good play equipment is proven to have positive benefits on pupil attainment.

Public Health England produced a recent report that also confirms that “Children and young people who are aerobically fit have higher academic scores”  so we make sure that the design of all pay areas includes all types of play equipment to ensure a healthy balance of physical or aerobic exercise, imaginative play, musical play and even problem solving activities. We can offer such a wide range of school play equipment that we can cater for all manner of interests and of course to ensure that a fun time is had by all !

So, if you are looking for ideas as to how to imprive the play areas at your nursery, school, Academy or play park then please feel free to call us for a chat to see how we can help.