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RoSPA Virtual Play Safety Conference 2023: Timber on Playgrounds

Thursday, March 9, 2023 | 11:00 GMT

Exploring the use of natural timber on playgrounds, including safety issues

Taking place virtually, the RoSPA Play Safety Conference 2023 aims to help play providers towards developing and maintaining quality play spaces that integrate with the natural environment. The value to the child of play spaces comes not just from the fixed equipment and furniture, but from their engagement with the environment.

 It is essential that such provision caters for the needs of children, whilst being as safe as necessary. In this year’s conference we will be concentrating on the use of timber to enhance play value, but we will also consider the maintenance and inspection implications for using this natural material.

Whether you are Head of Leisure for a major authority, a play area manager, or a volunteer at a local level this Conference will stimulate and improve your organisation’s approach to ensuring play value through natural play.


Who should attend?

The conference will be of interest to anyone involved with playgrounds and play safety, including:

  • Chief Leisure Officers

  • Playground Managers

  • Parks and Open Space Managers

  • Playground Area Constructors

  • Indoor Play Facility Operators

  • Landscape Architects

  • Planners

  • Holiday and Home Parks Operators

  • Commercial Site Operators

  • Local Authority Members

  • Parish and Community Council Members

  • Environmental Health Officers


11:00 – Introduction and Welcome

Speaker – David Yearley (Head of Play Safety, RoSPA)

11:05 An Update on Play Safety

Speaker – David Yearley (Head of Play Safety, RoSPA)

11:20 Play Value Awards

At each and every inspection we undertake throughout the UK, we make an assessment of the play value offered to children. During the course of our travels, we find the sites which offer excellent play value. The best of the best are showcased here, with the chance for conference delegates to choose their favourite. For each of the shortlisted sites, you will be able to see what has inspired the designer and how they have managed to produce one of the best playgrounds in the country.

This year, the awards are split into two categories, and finalists for each category can be found below:
Free to Enter:

  • The Royal Parks, Gloucester Gate, Regent’s Park

  • Tamworth Borough Council Castle Grounds Playground

  • The Meadow Recreation Ground, Linton Parish Council


Pay to Play:

  • Hobbledown Heath – TouchWood Play

  • BeWILDerwood Norfolk

  • Bowood House and Garden Adventure Playground

12:05 –  Maximising Play Value with Natural Timber

12:45 – What to look for when maintaining and inspecting

Speaker – David Yearley (Head of Play Safety, RoSPA) and Christopher Taylor (RoSPA)

13:25 –  Presentation of Play Value Awards

13:35 –  Close from Chair

13:45 –  Conference Close


Hear from last year's winner


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