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I felt that carpet and bark chippings would do a great job, whilst also keeping the brambles and stingers that used to live in the area at bay.
I wonder what to do now!!! Perhaps, as per previous postings, I should try it for a year and see how we go. I suppose I won't be cultivating the paths, so I won't be needing to remove the carpets in the future.
As a separate piece of info, this weekend I removed some weed-suppressing-membrane from my home garden that has been in situ for 8 years under my son's climbing frame. This has not disintegrated or torn, and I will be using it in the school garden with the carpet. It certainly worked 100% as I originally laid it directly on top of lawn, grass & dandelions to boot. Nothing came through, and it did not get waterlogged at all. Perhaps this is the answer to my own question!!!!