Why natural play is a lower cost solution

The capital costs of natural play areas are highly competitive with those of standard schemes, often being less. Nevertheless, many clients have an understandable concern that a natural play area, with grass to cut and perhaps trees and other plants to manage, might be more expensive to maintain. Indeed, to address this concern and the fact that some designs can take a few seasons to realise, our quoting structure includes an identified sum to cover management until that point is reached.

In practice, however, such maintenance costs are both more predictable and often lower than those associated with standard schemes. This is because standard schemes attract greater levels of vandalism and tend to be more susceptible to damage by flood and fire. Repair then costs a great deal – sometimes as much as the original scheme itself.

In contrast, natural play areas, being more inclusive and offering fewer obvious targets, attract much lower levels of vandalism. Being made of treated wood, stone, earth and plants, and solidly constructed, they recover quickly from flooding and have limited vulnerability to fire.

Management and maintenance costs are thus stable, predictable and at acceptable levels.