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Designing a garden to incorporate a trampoline

When approaching the design of a family garden which incorporates a trampoline, there is one thing that should be uppermost in your mind; safety. Safety trumps prettiness where children are concerned, but there are a few pointers that can help you when attempting to achieve both. Trampolines are a wonderful way for your children to burn off energy, they can be a great focal point for parties and play dates and really add to the fun your garden offers to the family. But unless you are careful with your garden design, they can cause accidents. The rules are quite simple to follow, however, so don`t be in the least put off.

Look at your garden shape. Does it have slopes in it? Are there overhanging trees, ponds or large shrubs? Where would you most like your trampoline to be positioned? All these factors will dictate where and how you place the trampoline. Let`s look at the key pointers one by one. Some advice may seem common sense, but those who are designing for the first time may need to remind themselves of the basics.

Slopes are a child`s best friend in a garden - great for gathering speed and rolling down. But never site your trampoline on anything that has even a slight gradient. It will lead to the bouncer naturally ending up at the lower edge, which can be dangerous. If you have an incline and have no choice but to use it, then cut into the ground to level up the trampoline legs.

Soft ground is a hazard. Look at the stability of your garden surface. You must avoid areas of soft ground when sighting your trampoline or it will end up sinking into the grass and ruining your lawn. Think how you could minimise the trauma to the ground   perhaps you could surround the area with play bark? This lends a neat and contained feeling to the play area and can help reduce wear and tear. It also means you won`t have to move the trampoline to cut the grass. Think how a circular play area could be incorporated into your overall garden design, perhaps mirrored in other geometric shapes in the garden - a circular herb bed, perhaps, or an interlocking circular lawn. Make the play space work with your ideas rather than feeling dictated to by it. If you are going with a dedicated play area, don`t site other play equipment too close to the trampoline however   bouncing off the edge and on to a slide won`t be pleasant.

Be mindful of overhanging branches when placing your trampoline. Whilst trees provide good shelter from the blazing sunshine, they can present a head-hitting hazard, not to mention the risk of bird droppings and falling leaves. Sighting the trampoline near ponds or pools is an obvious mistake to make, not least because it sounds the most perfect fun to bounce into water.

If your garden is windy and exposed think about how you can position a trampoline in a more sheltered position. Could it be placed in the curve of a bed, or near a fence? Bear in mind however that you will need about 2.5 metres clearance around the trampoline, to prevent your children disappearing over the fence into your neighbour`s garden. But sheltering nearer to a natural windbreak is a good idea and it will stop the trampoline being blown away if it has enclosing sides.

Try and have your trampoline within view of the house, just in case of accidents. If you don`t want to have a large structure dominating your view you could follow the recent trend of sinking your trampolines into the ground, which is both attractive and safe.

However you incorporate your trampoline into your garden design, make sure you don`t compromise on the quality of the trampoline itself. Consider trampoline pads from a respectable retailer, such as for extra peace of mind.


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