Greenbelt is making sure that play areas it manages across the UK are inspected regularly so that local children can play in safety.
- Greenbelt has responsibility for 146 play areas, ranging from small toddler play areas to full adventure playgrounds with multi-equipment
- equipment and surfacing at each play area is inspected by qualified staff every two weeks to make sure they meet European safety standards
- contractors and all staff complete rigorous training to gain European qualifications in inspecting play areas
- an independent play area inspection company carries out quarterly and annual inspections to provide thorough technical reports and estimates of the lifecycle of equipment and also inspects the condition of the surface area, for example, bark mulch used to provide a soft landing if a child does fall has to have a minimum depth of 100mm.
Janet McQuillan, Greenbelt's Head of Operations, says: "All play areas are inspected every two weeks to make sure that equipment is safe to use, for example that nothing is broken or worn, and there are no hazards."
"We have a robust reporting system and there is a rigorous annual training course to keep contractors and land staff up to date, and for new people to gain the European qualification before they are included in the Play Area Inspectors Register."
All inspection results are retained on a database that can be accessed by both Greenbelt
and the independent play area inspection company. Greenbelt is currently installing new
signage for all play areas, outlining basic safety rules and giving a free phone number to
report any faults, breakages or damage caused through vandalism.