How to Remove a Gravel Path How to Remove a Gravel Path

What You'll Need

If you want to take up a gravel path, perhaps to relay it or to allow grass to grow, then you may be unsure how to do this. Cleaning up gravel can be a very difficult task, as it is not something which is easily moved. If you are trying to move gravel from one place to another, you might find that it continually rolls around an area, spreading itself over a wide area and being very difficult to clear up properly. In order to avoid these problems, you need to understand how to move a gravel path properly. Once you understand how to do this, you should be able to remove your path in a few hours.

Step 1 - Plan Your Movements

Before you start removing the gravel path, you need to carefully plan your movements. You will be carrying the gravel to another area, and you will also need to bring the wheelbarrow back, so any obstacles in the way have to be removed. Make sure that you have clear access to the place where the gravel will be put. You should spread out a large plastic tarpaulin, so that the gravel will be easy to move when you have finished taking up the path. 

Step 2 - Rake the Gravel together

Move the gravel from your path using a rake. You will need one with firm metal teeth that are closer together than the usual garden rake. This will allow you to move the gravel quickly. Rakes with larger spaces in the teeth will simply glide over the top of the stones, and will not be very helpful. Pull the stones together into a reasonable pile.

Step 3 - Move the Gravel to the Wheelbarrow

You now need to lift the gravel onto the wheelbarrow. Start by sliding your shovel underneath a patch of gravel, and then placing the rake at the very edge. This should allow you to keep as much gravel as possible. Place this into the wheelbarrow carefully to avoid the gravel from dropping out the sides. Repeat this as often as necessary in order to remove most of the gravel.

Step 4 - Removing the base of the Path

At the bottom of the gravel path, you will usually find a number of stones which have not been moved by the rake, plus either a sand or a cement base. You can remove the sand in the same way as you have removed the gravel, by scraping it together and then lifting it with the shovel, but cement will need to be broken up with a hammer, and then carried away. Removing the base, and picking up any remaining gravel stones by hand, is time-consuming work. But at the end, you will have a clear area of land which you can then use to lay a second pathway. Alternatively, you can add some topsoil to the ground, and allow grass to grow over the area.


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