The issue I often face is cost. Whilst we naturally want children to be safe if they fall from a swing or climbing frame, some of the commercial grade rubber surfacing options can be very costly and you may find it difficult to justify the expense for something that may only get a few years use before the children outgrow/get bored of it. Although play bark is effective and cheap by comparison, it can be a magnet for cats, dogs and local wildlife to use as a toilet and will also require an annual top up as it will decompose over time.
We think Envirolay http://www.envirolay.com/playground.htm have the perfect solution:
Their Playground Rubber chips are a product developed in the UK from 100% recycled materials. It is unattractive to animals and will not decompose thereby eliminating the need to top up. It can’t absorb water, so will not freeze and it dries very quickly. The paint they use to colour the chippings is fade restant, so all in all it offers a great solution to a kids play area. It is available in 5 colours: you can stick with the natural tones of dark or light brown or brighten things up with vibrant blue, green or purple. It is always best to be aware of critical fall height legislation when deciding the height of play apparatus, swings, etc and the depth of your safety surface. However, when we were little usually the only thing to break your fall if you fell off your swing was grass and that was never bouncy!