Gardening expert Mark Lane shares his tips for building an accessible garden pathway

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The BBC Gardener’s World and BBC Morning Live presenter’s tips are aimed at those who “love gardening” but are starting find their body is aching in areas “that never ached before”. His tips are also ideal for those who need to use a walking frame, stick or wheelchair. Britons often don’t use their outdoor spaces as frequently in the winter months when the weather is damp and cold.

It’s only when the weather begins to warm up and dry out that we realise we need to make some drastic garden changes.

Mark said if you’ve noticed you need to get from the back or front door to a gate, shed or garage, then you should consider building a pathway.

He continued: “Ideally, aim for a path c.1.2-1.5m wide, which is wide enough for two people to walk side-by-side, in a wheelchair or using a frame or stick.

“To stop wheels — and feet for that matter — ending up in a flowerbed, install a raised edge, either using a wooden gravel board (the board found at the bottom of a fence) or a concrete edger that stands proud c. 10cm above ground level.”

If yourself or someone in your home uses a wheelchair, then you may need to think carefully about what material to use for your pathway.

Mark recommended using paving slabs rather than gravel as small stones can be difficult for wheelchair wheels.

Gravel is one of the cheapest garden path materials you can get, however, it also needs regular maintenance.

Weeds can easily establish themselves in gravel, even if you install a membrane.

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This means you may also be required to bend down and weed your pathway regularly, which could be a nuisance.

He added: “Paving should be pointed with a minimum gap of 10mm.

“You want a firm, stable, non-slip surface.”

The gardening expert also recommended using anti-glare slabs.

He said they are especially good if you or someone in your home is blind or partially sighted.

Another aspect you may need to consider is whether you need to install railing.

Mark said: “If you need to hold onto something when walking about the garden, then consider hanging a rope through hoops or install a support rail.

“Think about the material you want to use.

“Metal can be cold to the touch, especially in winter, whereas rope and wood feel warmer.

“Metal can be smoother, whereas wood and rope might need protecting and repairing.”

If you’re looking to build a patio, Mark has recommended thinking about what size you want.

He said: “Entertaining may be off the cards for now but, in preparation for reuniting with family and friends, ensure this area is big enough for a table and chairs (even with the chairs pushed outwards).”

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