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Re-edging with wood along a curved gravel path

Ideas, comments etc welcome....

A curved, stream-side path originally edged using wood planks and wooden stakes, ‘containing’ a compacted gravel path.

Since created (many, many years ago) the wood edging has rotted and is disintegrating allow creep on both sides ( more importantly allowing gravel onto grass and a H&S issue ).

Path is approx 350m long ( so that’s 700m of edging ) and client wants it replaced like-for-like ( ie no metal / plastic / paver alternatives ).

My question is how would YOU physically go about this ?


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  • gary could you get away with composit/plastic wood effect decking boards 

  • The curve and the materials are the least of the worries. The scale is the problem. When the path was originally done the edging was probably installed first and then infilled. Will be difficult to achieve such a tight job again. Easiest way is to get a contractor in, rip the lot out and redo it. Might be cost effective too, I wouldn't know. Or a small digger cutting a slit trench and then filling in/whacking down after. Looks like a slope on the right/stream? side, so not much room for a mess.

    If the mechanisation is not an option due to cost/access/environmental/mess concerns then a couple of blokes with hammers and spades could do it. Small machines like turfcutter etc could help. If I was doing it like that I'd want to be on day rate. I would vote for the rip out redo option, money permitting. Could maybe reuse some of the gravel, depending on its state, if that was an issue. 

    So really my answer is I would get someone else in who had the kit to do it. Probably not too helpful.

  • Took on a job like this recently. Replacing a school long jump run up. No room to bring in diggers. All by hand using 150mm shuttering and wooden steaks. Run up was 20 x 1 so 42m in total. All preasure treated timber. Took a LOT longer than i quoted. 

    If you cant mechanise or sub out walk way

  • PRO

    Thanks all.

    The problem is the 'mechanics' of it, not the utlimate edging product (within reason..)

    We're considering a micro digger with a 6" bucket to 'trench' down the line, preattach the stakes to the edgeing, line up in trench, backfill and compact and then make good grass/path.

    Another alternative (which I'm favouring) is to to use a Trencher (pedestrian or ride on) - neater trench, easier to preset depth, would rip out remainder of rotten wood, would 'windrow' to one side & less collateral damage - just have to convince the team thats the way to go ;)


  • Can you get a digger in? If so i would dig a narrow and shallow trench (150mm x150mm) eitherside to the depth the boards will go. Protect the grass with ply that you move as you with the digger. Have one man on machine, one with a shovel to tidy and one with a barrow.

    When I have two trenches I would hammer in 2x2 stakes and fix boards then fill either side with topsoil and gravel as you go. You could offer client extra gravel, raise finish level of the path, turf or seed up the sides ect... 

    Machine for a week 

    3 men for 3 weeks

    8 bulk bags gravel

    8 bulk bags topsoil 

    750m gravel board 

    250m 50mm x 50mm

    3 x 6 yard skips

    Screws (lots of)

    20kg grass seed

    Actually quite a lot of work - definitely  don't under quote!!

    Without thinking it through I'd say price would be in the region of £6-7k.. 




    • the problem with the trencher is it will have one wheel on the sloping bank unless you can adjust the wheel to level it up you will have a sloping trench 

      digger might be better giving you leeway to get the rails strait and parallel but will need more gravel for backfill 

  • PRO Supplier

    Hi Gary,

    If you go for a trencher, have a look at the TurfTeq Edger/Trencher. Unlike most small "walk-behind" trenchers, you walk forwards and it's power driven, so you can see where you are heading.

    Like the one shown in your photo, it windrows to the right which might be a problem on the side of the path that seems to have a steep drop-away. However, because of the construction on the TurfTeq, the trenching is done to the right of the machine thus allowing you to keep both drive wheels on the path.

    The photo shows the machine digging a trench for Rite-Edge Pro; approx 2 1/2" or 64mm. The depth is adjustable, in 1/2" increments, from 1" to 7".

    Hope the job is successful however you decide to attack it.


    Walk Behind Edger and Trencer, UK, Ireland
    Turfteq walk behind edger for edging lawns & golf course bunkers. Trencher for shallow trenches. UK, Ireland supplier.
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