Research Projects





Paths and
Small Bridges




Case Studies


Many volunteer bodies such a the SCP (Scottish Conservation Projects) and the Forestry Commission have been using Roundpole for many years, for a variety of purposes including construction of paths and small bridges.

The main advantage is that the material is readily available. In those circumstances where labour cost is not necessarily a major factor, such as in the voluntary sector, there is often a cost advantage to this approach.

Longevity of roundpole is an issue, There is an assumption that these projects have a very limited lifespan whereas in fact many of these structures will last many years, without the use of chemical preservatives


(source: Gaia)

Chippings of both timber and bark are used as a surface dressing for paths, while bark chippings are also used as a mulch dressing for planted beds.

(source: Griffiths, UoS)

The ready availability of roundpole in forested areas mitigates against itís relatively short spans, creating bridges and walkways with a high number of elements relative to more highly engineered structures.

Roundpole in Steps
(source: Gaia)

Use of roundpole in this way is common where limited lifespan is not a problem and cost a limitation.

Small Bridge
(source: Gaia)
As in the section on (larger scale) bridges, such small bridges can be useful both in wetland areas, and where these can prevent over-trampling of vulnerable ground and flora.