Community & Charity Playground & Play Area Surfacing

The Living Rainforest – Using Rubber Grass Mats Under A Play Area

The Living Rainforest

Once the order had been placed, we spoke to Peter Clark, the Chief Horticulturist at The Living Rainforest. Peter told us all about the charity, what they do and what they aim to achieve by using our rubber grass mats. This is what he said:

“The Trust for Sustainable Living operates The Living Rainforest (Berkshire) both as an education centre and visitor attraction. The Living Rainforest strives to make learning about life, fun. Visitors are immersed in real rainforest experiences. Our interpretation links plants, animals, ecosystems, human needs, economies and cultures. We aim to delight and challenge, building on the incredible biological and cultural diversity of planet Earth. The Living Rainforest offers a unique educational visit for people of all ages to learn how the future of tropical rainforests and other ecosystems is closely connected to human lives and lifestyles. 

Each year we welcome around 25,000 children who visit us as part of their school’s curriculum, we also welcome another 35,000 children who visit us at weekends and during school holidays with their families. There is an adventure style playground at the centre that is very popular with all our young visitors. This playground is in use 362 days a year (we only close Xmas Eve through to Boxing Day) and takes quite a battering from the 60,000 pairs of feet that use it. This heavy usage combined with the effects of the weather puts quite a stress on the equipment and infrastructure. We are running a programme of projects to install new drainage, relay the ground and lay new safety matting, this work will include re-seeding the grass in April or May 2018.”

Using Rubber Grass Mats Under A Play Area: The Living Rainforest
The Living Rainforest is both an education centre and visitor attraction, welcoming 25,000 children each year.


As you can see from the photo of the left, the team were battling with drainage, muddy areas and puddling which needed to be sorted to allow visitors to access the play area and outside areas all throughout the year. The charity needed a product that would help sort these issues and also protect children should any trips or falls occur from the play equipment.

Peter and his team began researching for a product that could do all of the above, which is when he came across our website and our 23mm fully recycled Rubber Grass Mats.

After reading up on the product Peter ordered enough rubber grass mats along with cable ties and plastic pegs to cover the entire outdoor play area. His decision was aided thanks to our products many benefits such as:

Being easy to install
Having a critical fall height of 3.3 metres
Can be laid on flat or contoured surfaces
Being 100% recycled
Being resistant to all weather
Being Wheelchair Friendly

Peter and The Living Rainforest received their Rubber Grass Mats and Accessories 3 working days later via pallet delivery.

Using Rubber Grass Mats Under A Play Area: Before
Rubber Grass Mats were needed to deal with flooding at the venue.


As part of their Employee Volunteer and Charity Program, a group of Vodafone volunteers helped Peter and his team with the installation of the Rubber Grass Mats.

The team began by ensuring that the ground where they would be installing the mats was as level as possible. Although the mats can be laid on contoured surfaces, a flat area is best for a play ground. With the ground as level as possible they then laid a sub-base layer and compacted it (you can the sub-base under the mats on the photo on the right). A layer of hardcore or sharp sand create a sufficient sub-base.

On top of the sub-base they began to lay their rubber grass mats. Laying one mat at a time and cutting around any play equipment by using secateurs, the grass mats are very simple to install. To secure them into the ground, simply push the plastic pegs through the grass mat holes and tie together neighbouring mats with cable ties to ensure there is no movement when walked on. This was repeated until the entire area was covered by our fully recycled rubber grass mats.

Peter told us:

“We selected MatsGrids’ rubber grass mats because we have found them to be very durable, easy to install and most important of all have delivered a proven safety surface for our young visitors. Time permitting we will move on to improving drainage, levelling the ground and installing additional new matting in the other areas.”

Using Rubber Grass Mats Under A Play Area: Work
Grass Mats are simply to install.


Everyone was and still is very pleased with their protective matting now installed under their play area. Not only have they added extra protection around the climbing frame and swings but they are helping improve the ground conditions. The charity plan to improve the drainage, level the ground and install additional new matting in the other areas when time permits them to.

A huge thank you to Peter and The Living Rainforest for using our Rubber Grass Mats and for helping us to create this informative case study. Should you have any questions regarding any of our products then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Using Rubber Grass Mats Under A Play Area: Conclusion
The Rubber Grass Mats add extra protection and help to improve the ground conditions.

3 Replies to “The Living Rainforest – Using Rubber Grass Mats Under A Play Area

    1. Hi Dawn,

      We are a UK based company, would you still like us to send you a quote?


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