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Brash-Lined Path

Often after thinning or felling there is a large amount of brash left lying beside a forest trail which can look very messy. Some conscientious managers clear this by dragging it into the edge of neighbouring trees. Here is an alternative use for the brash, forming a dead-hedge and winding path through woodland or cleared areas.

How to build

  • The example below has one metre long square sawn (1 ½” or 2” square) treated timber stakes. Make sure that pairs of stakes are well driven into the ground 300 mm apart at 1 m intervals. The stakes form a frame into which lengths of brash can be inserted to form a hedge, a path edge, a maze, an enclosure or hiding places. Using treated posts will give it a slightly longer life span, though suitable branch wood will also suffice.
  • Areas that become more heavily used as a result of concentrating people on the path or in an enclosed area will probably need bark or wood chip / shavings adding.
  • This work could easily be carried out by children and families themselves on activity days. It’s not intended to last for long, but is a nice project with a number of different variations. 
  • Add an occasional noisy object like a wind chime, cow bell, clap boards or a hollow log to hit. 
  • Regard it as a success if children take ownership of branches and the brash material gradually disappears.


Regularly check and remove hazards like sharp cut ends at (children’s) eye level. Re-check as material is moved.

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