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St James' CE First School's Forest Trim Trail

A Challenging Forest Trim Trail For The Little Learners of St James


After months of online learning, many schools are looking to develop and improve their outdoor areas and really encourage active play.  Playgrounds are often the place where friendships are formed and now more than ever social interaction is crucial to children’s mental health and wellbeing.

With this in mind, our playground expert, Nicole Fairman, met with Sarah Cole, outdoor learning co-ordinator, at St James’ Church of England First School in Dorset.

Together they developed a bespoke version of our brand new Forest Adventure Trim Trail.

two children moving across a forest climbing wall installed onto artificial grass

Surfacing to brighten the space and keep children safe


Firstly, we laid our popular playturf artificial grass over the existing wet pour surface. This helped to create an active zone in the main playground and really brightened the space.

Our playturf is impact absorbing so offers comfort and safety during play. Often children enjoy sitting on the turf with their friends and it can be used for group activities such as playing boardgames or puzzles.

The playturf is porous and dries quickly allowing for outside play come rain or shine!

children tackling forest trim trail obstacles as they move through the challenges featured

A unique forest trim trail made for St James


The first steps of the adventure begin with an inclined balance beam which requires core strength and stability. Next up are the climbing poles which improve cardiovascular fitness.

A tight grip is required to cross the tightrope bridge and step rope traverse. The twist net involves problem-solving skills. The children may climb horizontally or side to side.

A child balancing across an inclined balance beam

The trail was designed to cater for children from reception to year four, therefore the obstacles provide progressive challenges. Children can complete the whole course from start to finish or choose where to enter and exit.

Care has been taken to design a trail to engage all interests and abilities.

children moving through the many obstacles featured on a forest trim trail

Our climbing wall is designed to look like a rocky mountain range and provides a fun-filled challenge.

The children at St James’ have enjoyed scrambling up and down and are developing logical thinking when deciding which climbing holds to use.

Two children climbing across a double sided forest climbing wall

One of the favourite features of the trail are the pull up bars which range in height to cater for all age groups and levels of confidence. Upper body muscles are strengthened and the pupils are having great fun just hanging around!

As the bars are raised, we installed a shock pad layer to ensure extra protection and safety.

two children seeing how many pull ups they can do on a set of pull up bars

St James’ school is located in a leafy, green village where the trail, made form smooth, play grade timber, seems to fit beautifully within the natural environment. Children can truly believe they are swinging through the trees!

After spending much time indoors over the past year, we have created a wonderful adventure for the children of St James’. Problems can be solved; games can be created and friendships can be built.

We hope we have made a trail that will be treasured by many children for years to come and supports the school’s ethos ‘We Live, Love, Learn together Everyday.’

Would you like a Forest Trim Trail in your playground? Contact Us Here to begin your journey with Pentagon Play today.

Alternatively, take a closer look at all of the excellent playground projects we’ve completed for primary schools and nurseries in Dorset on our dedicated Dorset Page Here.

Children climbing on forest school trim trail equipment