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Timber Decking

Timber decking provides a different experience for children and wheel chair users. A raised walkway protects tree roots and soft soils and creates an interesting sound. Undulating the deck surface also adds interest.

How to build

  • Posts should be a minimum of 75 mm x 75 mm and be planted to a minimum depth of 500 mm, concrete might be need to secure. 
  • Supporting beams between posts should be 75 x 200 mm with a maximum span of 3.11 m, joist hangers must be used and be fully galvanised and fully connected
  • Decking boards of 50 x 150 mm can be used but must not span more than 1.1 m, boards of 75 x 150 mm can span up to 1.6 m, they should not overhang more than 200 mm. Deck boards can become slippery when wet: do not use chicken wire to resolve this problem. Seek advice, there are specialist deck treatments that can be used or non slip deck boards installed at the outset.
  • All timber should be locally sourced, FSC certified, and pressure treated against rot and insects. 
  • Deck heights less than those specified in the safety standard EN1176 do not require a hand rail or a surrounding safe surface, though it is helpful for wheel chair users to have a timber edge to the deck to stop wheels slipping off. 
  • Narrow sections, diverting around obstacles and introducing interesting elements to the sides are further ways of enhancing a timber deck. 
  • This is likely to require planning permission.

Useful contacts 

  • Your land agent in relation to planning permission
  • Forestry Civil Engineering for structural advice not given above and CDM regulations.
Last updated: 8th March 2016

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