Railways sleepers are one of the most versatile landscaping materials you can acquire for very affordable prices.
There's no limit to the creative uses which they can be put to both in the garden and out. If you're overdue for a little project and you think you'd like to give your home or garden a little facelift, take a look at our ten most innovative uses for railway sleepers.
1: A rustic beach garden: By using short lengths of sleepers vertically as a border edging, you can create an authentic beach look. Don't cut the lengths the same heights…ensure there's an inch or two difference alternating and lay them so there is a wonderfully varying edge. You can if you choose to, treat the timber or paint it so that the lengths appear to be sun-faded and wind bleached. Use around borders or flower beds for the ultimate in beach chic.
2: A railway sleeper driveway: Laying lengths of sleepers as you might lay tiles, you can create a beautiful and hard-wearing driveway. The sleepers should be embedded and laid in a pattern which you find pleasing and which is wide enough for all cars that regularly use the driveway.
3: An interior feature wall: An eye-catching idea is to completely cover an interior wall in lengths of beautifully seasoned railway sleepers. This works well in a Scandinavian styled home.
4: Dividing fences within a garden: By cutting 2ft lengths of sleeper and setting them in concrete you can create a feature fence in your garden. Use this idea to delineate one section of your garden, creating a new 'zone'. This is a good idea for dividing eating, entertaining and playing areas in a larger space.
5: Stepping stones: Either practical or just for their charm, stepping stones are a good addition to any garden in the UK as they provide a dry, stable pathway across the lawn. If you need to get to the shed or to the washing line, a set of meandering railway sleeper stepping 'stones" is both simple to create and long-lasting.
6: A children's sandpit: Incredibly easy to achieve, this only involves some minor digging and four lengths of sleeper. Use a tarpaulin to keep out animals.
7: Planters: Make large, chunky planters for use indoor or out. These look fantastic with small trees or palms and fruit trees and can fill up a dreary corner in your garden or home.
8. Steps: Go from one level to another easily with sleepers as steps, large or narrow.
9. Decking: Make a nice chunky and substantial decking, even make a nice pattern.
Railway sleepers are more than just old timber; often with beautiful colours and an attractively worn look, they're the perfect material for creating authentic ornaments, furniture, special features and borders.