– Why D+G ?
Duncan + Grove is an award-winning playground equipment manufacturer. We speciliaise in the design and installation of imaginative playground equipment, making maximum use of sustainably sourced and environmentally friendly materials which help children to learn and develop in a fun, stimulating and secure environment.
Based in east London with an office in Hoxton and manufacturing facility in Leyton we enjoy a reputation of quality and professionalism.
– What We Offer
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) 2015 report ‘A Fit and Healthy Childhood’ states: “In many early years settings around the country, playgrounds now have a uniform ‘style’ that has not changed since the 1980s with the emphasis firmly upon provision of a bright, colourful and often ‘themed’ physical appearance which may be satisfying to adult eyes rather than focusing on continual engagement and a richness of offer to children”.
This report has made our mission easier. We are committed to creating playgrounds that are designed for the benefit of the child. Our inspiration comes from the forest schools developed in Scandinavia during the 1950s which aimed to give the freedom to play as children in the wild natural environment.
We achieve this by designing and manufacturing playground equipment unlike the traditional play equipment offered by established companies. We want to challenge children to take risks, be challenged, but above all to learn and develop into healthy adults both physically and mentally.
We understand play is much more than just down time in a child’s curriculum. It is central to both physical and emotional development and to meet this our playgrounds aim to offer more than just bright, colourful, ‘themed’ solutions.
– Inclusive Play
All this applies equally to children with disabilities as it does to children who are more able. ROSPA notes that “even the most severely disabled child has some level of ability and thus can enjoy some level of play. It is their ability that we need to explore and help them develop, not, by overprotecting them, stifle this ability and compound their impairment”.
There is a tendency in inclusive playground design to forget this. Too many climbing frames, for example, will include meandering ramps which lead nowhere, catering for a wheelchair rather than the person inside. We understand that the majority of children in wheelchairs will have some use of their lower body and often a good level of strength in their upper body. Our designs focus on this rather than the wheelchair alone.
– The Environment
‘If we intend to provide a better life, and a better world, for future generations, we can’t ignore the quality of the environment we leave them.’
The Environment is a growing concern and an issue that Duncan + Grove takes seriously. We believe strongly in making maximum use of natural, sustainable and recycled materials. Our products are designed to minimise their impact on the environment, and where possible to positively enhance it.
We use environmentally friendly materials that are natural and sustainable. Our timber is sourced from FSC certified, sustainably managed forests in the UK and France. We use predominately oak and robinia, neither of which require chemical treatment, which is safer for the environment and the children playing on it.
We believe in play spaces being green and incorporate planting and trees into our designs.
We believe that great product design takes into account the environment. At the end of their lifecycle, Duncan + Grove products are easy to separate into their different materials and recycle or dispose of responsibly.
‘Play is great for children’s well-being and development. When planning and providing play opportunities, the goal is not to eliminate risk, but to weigh up the risks and benefits. No child will learn about risk if they are wrapped in cotton wool’.
Safety is taken very seriously by Duncan + Grove. Strict HSE procedures are followed at all times during construction of our products whether on site or in the workshop.
– EN1176 Certified
All of our equipment meets the safety standards laid down in EN1176 European Standards for Playground Equipment. Our team are trained on the details of the standard requirements and are regularly tested in order to ensure they maintain these exacting levels of knowledge.
We are used to working on large public projects and as such take our health and safety duties extremely seriously. We are Contractors Health & Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS) certified and adhere to all the relevant H&S requirements. We are also a member of Construction Line. On top of this we deliberately over engineer our builds to ensure that they last and require minimal maintenance.
– Play Inspection
On completion we employ an independent RPII registered play safety inspector to produce a playground safety report. This report is based on the guidance and recommendations provided in ‘Risk and Safety in Play: the law and practice for Adventure Playgrounds’. References may also be made to European Safety Standards (BS EN 1176).
We carry comprehensive insurance which includes the following: employers’ liability insurance £10,000,000, public & products liability insurance £5,000,000, professional indemnity insurance £2,000,000.
We use qualified structural engineers to act as consultants throughout our builds, this includes producing drawings and conducting site visits to ensure our play structures are structurally sound.
We love our designs and want you to enjoy them as long as possible. Many products on the market use low grade treated timber in contact with the ground. This may keep the cost down but unfortunately will also start to rot more quickly. We understand that the life span of a playground is determined by the materials it is manufactured from and how they are installed and maintained. To achieve a long lifespan we choose the hardest locally grown wood. By using native species of the hardest variety you can be sure that your playground will endure as long as possible and prove more cost effective in the long run.
Timbers in direct contact with the ground are at greatest risk of decay. It is these timbers that determine the longevity of your play equipment. We use structural grade green oak for all our upright posts. The properties of oak make it ideal for playground building; easily worked when green, yet achieving iron-like hardness over the years and superbly resistant to attack by both insect and fungi due to it’s very high tannin content. In general we use sawn oak to produce squared off designs with a neat manufactured finish.
Like oak, robinia has a special place among European trees because of its high resistance to abiotic and biotic environmental influences. EN 350-2 lists woods and classifies them according to their resistance. Robinia is the only cultivated wood in Europe listed in Class 1. That means that robinia wood can be used in any outdoor area without requiring chemical treatment and demonstrates that robinia is an adequate alternative to tropical hardwood.
We use larch for the non-structural parts of timber that are out of ground contact. As these parts of the play equipment are more easy to replace compared with the in ground supports should there be any issues with the wood they can be quickly replaced in line with the terms of our warranty.
Stainless steel is extremely resistant to corrosion, very hard-wearing and is an aesthetically superior metal. The life expectancy of stainless steel fasteners is a minimum of 25 years, although it can be expected to last much longer than this.