Rope ladders are easy to make and are popular with adults and kids alike. All you need is some rope and a few sturdy sticks.
Most rope these days is synthetic. This means it won’t rot, but it doesn’t look or feel nearly as nice as natural jute rope. Synthetic rope is also made from a non-renewable resource, oil, so is not as environmentally friendly!
The rungs should be sturdy, so that they can take the weight of the heaviest climber and provide a decent grip. Adding score marks is a good way to improve grip, but care should always be taken, particularly when the rungs are wet. For each rung, allow a good 10cm extra each side so that the rung won’t slip out of the rope. 60cm rungs is a good guide.
There are two recommended ways of attaching the rungs to the rope. Those of you who are handy with knots can try the constrictor knot, but for those who are less knot savvy a simpler, easier method is to hold the rope with both hands and untwist it slightly, inserting the rung into the gap between the yarns.
Insert the rungs one at a time, making sure to tighten the rope between each.
To attach the top of the rope to a tree or climbing frame use a bowline knot. The branch must be horizontal otherwise the rope ladder will be impossible to climb.
Once you have climbed the tree, why not climb a little higher and put up a bird box? You could buy a bird box made by Pathways, an inspiring organisation near Oxford. Or you cold make your own bird box!