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Stepping logs

Logs set into the ground and lengths of timber beam can be arranged to provide a stepping path. Stumps and other obstacles or points of interest can be connected such as the forked tree in the photo.

How to build

  • Find a location that links two interesting points. Plant vertical logs to a sufficient depth to prevent them from rocking, re-compact the surrounding ground or use concrete if necessary. ‘Steps’ do not need to protrude more than 300 mm. Logs set into the ground and lengths of timber beam can be arranged to provide a stepping path. Stumps and other obstacles or points of interest can be connected such as the forked tree in the photo. Stepping logs Remove all stones, stump tops, or objects within 2 m of the log path that might be hazardous if someone falls from the log path. Ensure log beams are fixed so they can’t roll. 
  • Hardwood, oak or chestnut will last the longest and need not be treated. Larch, pine and Douglas should be treated with preservative, especially cut sections.
  • Make sure all timber edges are chamfered to avoid splintering.
  • The surface of logs will need to be etched with a chainsaw to reduce slipperiness. Surrounding the feature with sand will also aid traction as it transfers to timber components. Re-etching the surface is difficult once grit is in the slots; an alternative anti-slip solution is to use 75 mm galvanised drive screws at 75 mm centres.

Useful contacts 

75 mm x 14g galvanised drive screws available from www.mcar thur- group.com Cat Code 29 15 AV, item number 8957.

Last updated: 8th March 2016

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.