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Play log

Occasionally an old butt from a large broadleaf is rejected at felling due to being rotten or hollow. These can make great play elements left as they are, or hollowed out and shaped by a sculptor, as the example below at Braithwaite. A hollow log could be used as the entrance to a tunnel or burrow if an earthwork play space was being created.

How to build

  • Bury the log in the ground sufficiently so it is secure and does not rock. It might be necessary to securely fix and bury a timber beam or other element to the base of the log to ensure the log does not move.
  • Clear ground around the log so that there is nothing to fall on.
  • Work with local children to help create a design that reflects their community.


  • Work with a local artist or sculptor to further enhance the play log.
  • 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.