Proper way to make a path with wood chip on the top.

18 Mar 2005
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United Kingdom
At the bottom of the garden we have chickens. Unfortunately the area outside the chickens gets really muddy and boggy. This is partly due to walking over it a couple of times a day and it is a slightly low point.

During the summer months it is no problem but during winter it gets nasty! This year as a quick bodge I threw a couple of bags of play bark down at the beginning of winter - it did the trick and made it bearable through winter. I did have to replace it with another couple of bags as the first rotted away/sank into the mud.

At the moment it looks OK as it is drier but it has a bit of grass sprouting through it (used to be grass).

I like the look of the play bark - it blends in and doesn't look out of place. Over the summer I would like to make a proper job of the path to make it withstand the winter better.

I'm just not sure how to go about it.

As I said before water naturally gathers there.

I was thinking of digging down a bit and putting some weed control fabric down, then sand, then some gravel, then the play bark on top. Hoping this would then aid the water in draining away.

Would this last - or would it just mix together and turn into a mix of gravel and play bark? Would it just sink into the ground?

If it won't work can you suggest an alternative?
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I would say if you have access to cheap/free bark or woodchip then keep using that, it will always need topped up every so often, but the stuff from the bottom would make nice compost!


Go the whole hog and build a stone path

Post up some photos.
Is there any way to drain the area?
my thoughts

this winter was very mild and fairly dry
was the bark the reason it all worked
or was it the friendlier weather ??

just a thought :D
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my thoughts

this winter was very mild and fairly dry
was the bark the reason it all worked
or was it the friendlier weather ??

just a thought :D

The bark definitely helped and it was put over a boggy patch so the weather had already been bad enough to make it a bog.

However I do agree the winter wasn't as bad as the last year - last year we had boggy footprints right down the garden to the chickens. although the bit round the chickens is always worst as we have to walk up and down that bit. It usually consists of a walking to the shed part, then to the run part to put food in, then back to the shed then back again etc - so can be a good few trips over the same boggy part.

I don't have access to cheap or free bark - it is just the stuff in bags. However the path doesn't cover a huge area. Perhaps 4m by 0.5m at most.

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