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Incorporating seating into play spaces is an important aspect of play, either for providing a comfortable place for family and friends to sit and wait, creating a place for older children to hang out with their friends, or providing additional structures on which children might play.

How to build

  • Formal seating is normally provided close to main facilities or adjacent to specific features like a view or other attractive location. Creating seating areas slightly away from ‘hot-spots’ will benefit many visitors, including young people wishing to be separate from their parents, youth groups wanting to have a space to themselves and families wishing to linger for longer.
  • Seating should be integrated into a play space rather than separate or remote from it. Use materials and a design style that reflect the play space environment.
  • Clustering log benches so that people can face each other to talk is a good idea.
  • The seat arrangement can bemade from large, peeled logs cut in half and raised off the ground with a short length of log shaped to house the seat. Logs gleaned from the forest should be selected so that they are not from a resinous timber, or they should be left to season so that resin is not a problem. Bark should be removed, and joints and metal fixings should be galvanised and concealed to reduce corrosion.
  • The informal arrangement of these log benches has two benefits: They can either be used by children playing on them or using the internal space for creative play, or they can also be used by groups for seating. Note in the picture the central fire pit that is safely being used for barbecuing.


Seating can be created wi th logs, boulders, stone wal ling, tur fing or with ground ter racing on a slope to form a teaching space, an info rmal per formance venue o r an amphitheatre.

Last updated: 8th March 2016

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