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Solution to boggy clay path?

I watched DIY sos  the other night,the one where Chris Beardshaws chelsea garden was transplanted onto the roof at GOSH. They used some sort of underlay,for want of a better word,that looked like rows of black toblerone,covered it with shingle and put pavers on it.
I have a boggy area in my allotment that is getting worse with each visit as we walk on it.
Can anyone tell me what they used and if it would work if i dug out the clay,put some of this underlay thingy in then stones and finally replace the paving stones which i took up to put woodchip down.
Many thanks.


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,924
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • KlinkKlink Posts: 261
    Ah,looks like it @Fairygirl . Couldn't describe it very well and have looked all over t'internet but couldn't find it.
    I'm wondering if it would work or just sink into the boggy clay too.
    Anyone used it for such purposes?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,924
    I really don't know. Not something I've ever used, although I was considering it for my parking area, as it slopes a little, and I'm not forking out for paving. Probably will just do an edging and re gravel though.
    I think you have to do a bit of prep before laying it, but I don't know how involved it is. Maybe a layer of hardcore and landscape fabric first.

    We're on heavy clay, and it's permanently wet. When I make paths, I just lay thick l'scape fabric and a good layer of gravel. It's always worked well.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,399
    I think that stuff's a bit OTT, more for driveways and parking areas tbh. Suspect what you saw on DIY SOS was some kind of roof deck drainage system. 

    Just a bit of hardcore and gravel with timber edging, or just gravel on landscape fabric... or even bark. Fairly cheap and easy to keep topped up. Don't use round gravel like pea shingle, use something angular.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,819
    We have used that stuff under our summerhouse.  It's on clay, but isn't boggy.  We filled the gaps on the grid with pea gravel, just to give the summerhouse a more stable based, and to keep it away from the worst of any water that might sit there.  I can't imagine it working in a boggy area though, I think it would just sink into the wet clay.

    We have areas of our allotment which regularly flood in Winter.  All of our paths are covered in a weed suppressing membrane, and then covered in bark chips.  The membrane keeps our feet away from any muddy soil, and to some extent the bark chips soak up smaller amounts of heavy rain.  Although membrane is nasty stuff for the environment, it might be a better solution for you than the plastic grid you mention.  You will need to cover it in bark chips, or something else. To give you an idea of just how wet our plot gets in Winter...

    The muddy clay though is out of sight, thanks to the membrane.
  • KlinkKlink Posts: 261
    Thanks all.
    I was a little worried that using something like the grid system might just sink into the boggy ground, hence my question.
    The path did have plastic then membrane then carpet then paving stones but i had to lift the paving to get out bindweed roots that had spread.As a safety measure and so i didn't trip over raised paving (i sometimes have a balance problem due to scds) i decided to replace all with just woodchip;new allotment so didin't know how boggy it would get.
    Maybe i'll leave it over winter and sort it out in spring.Rain is forecast here for what seems like forever so i guess it'll be impossible to sort it in the wet conditions.
    Will definitely seek out some grid base if only to price it up,if i can find any that is!
  • seacrowsseacrows Posts: 234
    It's a bit fancy for me. We had the same problem, a muddy clay path. We dug about an inch of the topsoil off, the bit with grass roots that goes really slimy when stood underwater. Then put about an inch of gravel in, pretty level to where it had been. Half an inch of sand, then paving slabs. I should say it took OH a whole day to lay six slabs, getting the sand level and firm, paving slabs level and exactly abutting the next slab. (I mistakenly asked the difference between abutting and adjoining and got a long answer. I still don't know.)

    Five years later the slabs have sunk to just above the surrounding ground and, surprise bonus, the excess sand has worked into the surrounding soil so it dries faster. The path is bordered by raised beds, and I think without these the sand may have just emigrated.
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