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The versatility of garden sleepers is endless; create raised beds, borders, planters, or just add a stylish focal point to any outdoor living space. The durability of natural wood sleepers makes it the perfect alternative to bricks and stone.

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Sleepers Videos

Sleepers Guides & Ideas


What are Garden Sleepers?

Garden sleepers are a traditional bedding piece that be used in many situations in your landscaping project:

  • To define borders and garden edging
  • Create raised bed sleepers and planters
  • Seating
  • Steps
  • As the perimeter for ponds and garden features. 
  • Play pits and sandpits

How long do Wood Sleepers last?

How long wooden sleepers last depends largely on what species of wood used and how they are treated, as well as the environmental conditions that they are subjected to throughout their life.

As a rule, hardwood oak sleepers tend to last the longest naturally with an expected lifespan of around 100 years. An untreated softwood will last for between three and five years if it sits on the ground, whilst treated softwoods can last between 20 and 30 years if they are maintained correctly. Ensure any ends that have been cut are treated and not left exposed.

What wood is used to make Railway Sleepers?

In the UK, railway sleepers were traditionally made from spruce, pine or fir mix conifers as these were the predominant species available locally when train tracks were originally being laid. Whilst softwoods remain the most popular option for sleepers, oak sleepers are also an option if you are looking for something more durable.

All wood used to create our sleepers is sourced from sustainable woodlands.

Do I need to apply treatments to the Wood Sleepers?

No, you don’t have to, however, some people choose for cosmetic purposes, for example, if they wish to maintain a consistent colour. Most wooden sleepers will naturally fade to a grey colour because of long-term exposure to the suns UV rays, which ages the wood. 

At Howarth Timber, we offer a wide range of sleepers for the garden, including:

  • Sawn Green Treated Sleepers
  • New European Oak Sleepers
  • Rustic Redwood Sleepers

 Please Note: The sleepers you receive may not be cut perfectly square at the ends, which makes it difficult to guarantee measurements will be as stated. This should be taken into consideration before purchasing. 

The timber used is a natural product and may include knots in the grain, which will affect the overall appearance of the sleeper.

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