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How Darren's Dens evolved, by Darren Greenslade, owner of Darren's Dens

"Our business started in 2007 after building a play den for my son.  I decided to design and construct one for his third birthday as I could not find one that was built to a high standard without paying a high price. Most of the raised play dens/play towers did not look very sturdy, they also all had ladders up to them which my son had difficulty climbing at that age, especially if  he wanted to carry things up to his play den.


I set about making my first play den/play tower with steps and a handrail.  The play den had proven to be a favourite for my son, his friends and their parents.  It has been great for birthday parties at home, playing pirates, cooking dinner for mum and dad and picnics on the deck. He now has a treehouse which has been insulated and cladded inside and has electric in it so he can hang out with his mates, or use it as an outside office space.  The next project is for a garden bar underneath the treehouse.


My son Jack has recently joined Darren's Dens officially on an apprenticeship.  He has always had a part in the business from a young age, as our model in some of the photographs and giving a child's input into the design of the play structures."

The ethics of Darren's Dens

We are environmentally conscious and try to use local suppliers when we are able to, in order to keep our carbon footprint down. Some of the products we use are either recycled plastics, rubber, or made using materials that can be recycled, these include our play panels, rubber safety matting and rubber safety mulch.  We aim to provide affordable high quality unique timber play equipment which can be individually designed and custom built.  We are a small family run business and have no sales representatives, we offer a completely personal service.  Darren and Jack will work directly with you to meet your needs and requirements.  We have a passion for providing safe and exciting play areas for children of all ages.  


The timber supplier we use is certified to supply timber to both FSC and PEFC requirements and is sourced from managed forests, it is kiln dried to reduce splitting and pressure treated to provide long lasting protection.


Flooring for the treehouses, play houses and towers are made with kiln dried decking in either flat or grooved decking. The play dens and play houses come with a choice of the following timber cladding, samples are available on request:-


                            * feather edge

                            * shiplap  

                            * waney edge red cedar


Where children play safety is a concern so we use timber that is rounded on the corners and smooth to touch so there is minimal risk of splinters.  All the play equipment is constructed using the correct safety distances to reduce the risk of accidents whilst keeping it challenging and exciting for the relevant age and ability of your child.   The play dens and play houses have a piano hinged door to help avoid finger traps.   In the space underneath the raised platforms we can install a sandpit, picnic table or a hammock so children can play in the shade keeping delicate skin out of the sun. Play towers for younger children, or children that have difficulty in climbing ladders can have a ramp or steps installed with hand rails on either side. This also enables them to carry toys or a picnic up to the deck or play den which is really difficult to do when there is only a ladder for access.   

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