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Boardwalks can provide an alternative surface type for balancing the needs of public access with the protection of sensitive habitats. They are usually made from wood or plastic.

boardwalk plastic

Boardwalks are expensive and require regular inspection and maintenance. Recycled plastic will provide a longer lifespan than wooden boardwalks, and with less risk of becoming slippery. A plastic boardwalk can also be installed at ground level to reduce its visual impact in the landscape as, unlike timber, plastic does not rot. However, in sensitive habitats the introduction of plastic may not be desirable in the long term. Boardwalks can avoid impacts to the hydrology of a wetland site which may be adversely affected by an aggregate path built directly on the ground.

For general guidance about boardwalks and specification details for various boardwalk types, refer to the boardwalks section of the ‘Countryside Access Design Guide’ (Scottish Natural Heritage).

To find out more about timber and plastic boardwalks have a look here.

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