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Hello, i have to make a way through my garden that the farmer can drive over in a tractor, which happens about twice a year.  in future i may need to get a car there with horsebox, so this is not just for the farmer!  I have made the borders out of wood and need to consider the surface.   

I have not much imagination and can only come up with 1. Grass.  Is cheap, but then i need to cut it and will get churned up by the tractor if its wet.  The soil  tends to turn to mud.   2.  Membrane then gravel (grey to match existing).  This would be more expensive, less maintenance, but im worried the weight of the tractor will just churn it up or drive the stones through the membrane.  Also a bit ugly as its a major part of the garden.

Really dont know what else i could do, but i suppose im asking how to build a road with v little money!  Any ideas welcome. 



Do you know which time of the year the farmer needs this access? - it will make a huge difference if it's only in the summer or in the winter.

Also the size of the tractor and any implements it is towing will be important.

Modern tractors can be huge. 

only july for hay cutting.  Tractor plus trailer for hay.  I measured the tractor for the width of the road and took the trailer into account as they dont go round corners too well, so its a gentle arc.  Its a modern tractor but not massive. 


Maybe an ex-MOD auction might have something in the way of tracks (she says, as a complete non-starter when it comes to things mechanical)


Used to work for Wildlife Trust and we used a honeycomb type of plastic that grass grew through, it looked nice and as we used it as a car park I would assume it was fairly tough, cant comment on the price though.


Hmmm pics are loading upside down even if i flip them over first.  Ill try again. 

sorted the upside down thing, the ipad seems to correct the orientation for you but not when its uploaded.

first pic, just after the gravel drive the road starts...


Pic2 arcs round what will be a flower bed and the lawn


Pic 3 up to paddock gate

 If it looks a bit of a building site it kind of is.


thats a heck of a track to resurface, at the trust we also used to use crushed stone and use a wacker plate to make a hard surface (you can hire the wackers), it was a reasonable finish and looked quite rustic.  It was the road to our visitors car park so used to take a bashing.  If we got a pothole due to heavy weather we just had to add more stone and wack it down.

eh? What are the greyhounds for? Got 2 pointers.  

The pond is big, just out of sight, i could post a pic coming back in the other direction. 

There is a hedge you can see the green tubes along the fence. Oh you mean have a greyhound race track? Well its a thought. 


a1154, have you asked the farmer what he would recommend for longevity with tractor use? I walk my dog on the tractor trails around where I live, they are all grass and they form serious ruts that you would not want to take a car or van over, I think you need something a bit more solid than just grass.

Unless you do a proper construction job you're wasting your time as this is not a job you want to do twice. Depending on the subsoil you may have to remove anything down to 600mm depth, compact the subsoil surface, fill with two compacted layers of crushed rock sub-base (local quarry or builders' merchant).

Make sure the track is plenty wide enough for the widest vehicle, and then a bit more, and the finished level is 150mm above the adjacent ground, otherwise you will find vehicles running along the edge of the track and dragging soil onto it, making a mess of your job.


I agree with Joe - dig out and compact base then fill with crushed concrete/rubble/hardcore and compact again (or get tractor to drive back and forth over it lots of times) and then top off with a finer grade hardcore type stuff.

It may be worthwhile letting local farmers/builders know that you have a need for broken up hardcore as they sometimes have to get rid of it and would have to pay to take it to a tip.  

But make sure they know it must be broken up (or rather down) to a size that can be compacted before they deliver it, as otherwise you'll get chunks the size of half a house tipped up on your driveway. 

im hoping 600mm is a typing error! That seems huge.



I suppose it's worth bearing in mind that if the access is only needed for haymaking, the ground should be pretty firm at that time of year.

Haymaking is rarely done in wet weather 

It'll depend what the subsoil is like. In the worst case you may need 600; you could get away with less, but I would base my design on the worst case during the year.

I would ask the farmer first what he advises as they must be used to making tracks.

If it's only going to be used 1 or 2 times a year, you might as well just grass it over and see what happens - you could always reseed if if necessary and it's probably the cheapest option. The other cheapish option is coarse bark mulch, if you can get it by the lorry load and just replenish it as and when.  

To go for the "proper job" (although desirable) is probably going to be too expensive - our 40m x 40m hardstanding 7 years ago was about £900 from memory.

Less than £1 per square metre sounds like a bargain to me, even at 2007 prices!

Sorry Joe, got my metric/imperial mixed up, I think it must have been 40ft x 40ft,not metres. As you say, it sounds rather cheap!