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England's Woods & Forests
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Banks and Slopes

Children love to run down, slide or roll down slopes. And best of all when it snows!

How to build

  • If an existing bank is being used by children for play, ensure that there are no obstacles at the bottom of the slope that might pose a hazard or danger, these might include old fence posts or wire, items of rubbish or bits of vegetation with sharp, sticking out branches or roots. Bear in mind that with the advent of snow a slope that was previously unused might suddenly become a magnet for play.
  • Things brought by the public to slide or roll down a slope will not expose a land owner to potential litigation.
  • In Freiburg the city council provided half a large orange juice barrel as a sledge for children to slide down a gravel bank. In this instance care would be needed by a land owner to select appropriate items and ensure they did not present a risk by their presence or due to them becoming worn.


On steep embankments be aware of the forced movement in relation to potential entrapments from exposed roots or overhanging objects.

See appendix for more details.

Last updated: 8th March 2016

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