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Vertical stepping logs

A long ‘holding’ pole bolted to a shorter ‘stepping’ pole. Randomly locate up to 30 poles to create an interesting play space for all ages. These elements can be used in a course with other elements such as balance beams.

How to build

  • Use locally sourced FSC pressure treated machine-rounded poles or peeled fencing posts of about 100 mm top diameter. The two poles should be fixed together using coach screws in plugged countersunk holes ensuring there is no finger trap (8–25 mm). Chamfer the top edges of all poles.
  • ‘Plant’ poles 1/3 of their length into the ground, 400–600 mm apart, ensuring that no stepping pole is higher than 600 mm above the finished ground level (unless a surface such as bark is provided). The posts can be randomly rotated in different directions and be finished at different heights to create an interesting course.
  • Make sure all stones and obstacles are removed from the site, level the ground and top with soil for grass seeding or 150 mm of compacted stone 40 mm-dust.
  • Alternatively, to create a more natural finish forked branches could be used to create the same structure.


Refer to fall heights, falling space and entrapment in safety section of appendix.

Last updated: 8th March 2016

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.