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Play sand, willow tunnels and BAGA level 4

Posted by Dawn Isaac on 23 Mar 2010 at 03:46 PM


This week I have been spending far too much time worrying about particle sizes, silica content and British Standards BS EN 1177:2008 and BS EN71-Part 3.  This is not fun.  Which is slightly ironic as it should be.  We are, after all, talking play sand.

Yes, the village play area which I was foolish enough to design is becoming a reality. As all designers know, it's that pesky reality that always messes up the plans.

Somethings are going swimmingly.  We have a very large and impressive fort constructed by Fenland Leisure.  It has a slide so tall and fast that all my children did an unscheduled forward roll when they landed so it's also excellent training for their BAGA level 4 (should such things still exist).

[As an aside, I think I might have got all my BAGA badges except the last which eluded me as I could never master the tricky flick flack.  This also proved my undoing when competing in my one and only gymnastics competition as a child.  I came last of all contestants, mostly because I had completely forgotten I needed to do a floor routine and had to make one up on the spot.  Unfortunately, there aren't enough forward and backward rolls to fill 90 seconds - even if I put in a theatrical flourish after each that would have made Olga Korbut proud.]

The playground can also now boast a 10-metre-long willow tunnel, constructed by the lovely Richard from Windrush Willow, plus a couple of felled trees which can be used by the children as a natural climbing frame. 

Unfortunately, the climbing trees were due to sit above play sand - not only a soft surface but also another play area for the children - and here's where the problem comes.  10 tonnes of 'play sand' arrived and was duly carted and spread over the area. Well everyone keeps telling me it's play sand anyway.  I have been quoted its bulk density - both loose and compact.  I know the percentage of particles retained by each British Standard mesh sizes. I am informed that its grain shape is mostly sub angular with some sub rounded and occasionally rounded. I even know it is lower Greensand of the cretaceous period.

I can also see that it is ORANGE! So unless we want all the local village children to look like they have been dunked in St Tropez, I fear we will have to replace the lot.

See - not fun at all.


EvaInNL said:

So you'll have a bunch of Oompa Loompas running around, not the end of the world is it? :o) Just kidding, I love the ideas! Especially the willow tunnel, I want one...

on 24 Mar 2010 at 07:52 AM

Dawn Isaac said:

Eva - It's the parents who have to wash the clothes I'm worrying about - I fear I will get the blame (or the laundry)

on 26 Mar 2010 at 04:08 PM

EvaInNL said:

I defintely see your point now Dawn! :o)

on 27 Mar 2010 at 12:42 PM