MrsG, I use gravel boards (pressure treated planks) covered in chicken netting to walk on so that I don't slip.
Any areas of the garden that has been cleared in the Autumn are always dug into ridges to allow the rain to drain off. These ridges are always dryer than the flat ground come spring time. Only problem is this year the furrows filled with water for long periods, but they are drying out now. You can add FYM of Compost when ridging in Autumn.