Brand new playground for Oakwood Primary School

We swept in and smoothed the way for safe play in St Albans, Hertfordshire. The playground surface at Oakwood Primary School was transformed from a forlorn, lumpy bumpy mess of holes and trip hazards into a haven of super-smart, blue EPDM rubber, ideal for running and playing. So delighted was this client, that we’ve been recommissioned to sprinkle our magic on other playground facilities at the school. 

Oakwood Primary School Playground

THE BRIEF

A sorry surface situation

Oakwood Primary School had high hopes for their playground, but desperately needed some expert guidance and true grit. What we found was a sturdy and much-loved timber trim trail, which was being let down by its substandard artificial grass surroundings. This equipment would live to play another day, but the surrounding surface must be ripped up and binned immediately – because the clock was ticking… with the start of a new autumn school term just around the corner. Our mission? To replace and expand a significant area of artificial grass that had seen better days. 

THE DESIGN

Hopscotch meets hand digging 

With consideration for the brief and the timescales involved, it wasn’t long before bouncy rubber wet pour leapt out as the best material for the job. This new school playground surface would soon transform a dilapidated green(ish) space into a sleek expanse of timeless black. Our design was also able to incorporate a playground favourite – hopscotch – as an inlaid design of contrasting rubber numbers. Our approved design protected the existing timber trim trail, and embraced this feature with a high-quality surface made to last for years of play. It would take serious muscle and mindfulness to turn this dream into a reality!

  • Excavating established artificial grass surfaces takes serious machinery and expertise 
  • A combination of digger machine and hand digging (around the existing trim trail) was essential
  • Stoning up and stone compacting creates a smooth surface foundation
  • EPDM resin-bound rubber requires expert pouring and finishing

THE RESULTS

What a difference a digger makes 

Children, returning from their summer break, were bowled away by the super-smooth playground that greeted them. Gone was the holey artificial grass, and taking its place was an expanded playground complete with a permanent inlaid hopscotch game. Our replacement surface makes a world of difference for this school, boosting pride in the environment and encouraging confident year-round play, running and skipping. 

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