A new eco-friendly surface is being trialled on a footpath in a St Albans park.

The material, known as Flexi-Pave, is made out of recycled car tyres that would otherwise go to landfill.

It is also able to absorb water and let it flow into the earth to help nurture trees, plants and grassed areas.

St Albans District Council has used Flexi-Pave instead of macadam, the usual material, to restore a footpath in Clarence Park.

The path between the cricket pitch and bowls club was in need of repair as it contained trip hazards.

These were caused by the roots of established trees pushing upwards and producing cracks.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Relaying the path with macadam would have required narrowing the path to steer clear of the growing trees and roots.

Instead, the new Flexi-Pave product was sourced as it is highly porous, allowing water and air to get through to the tree roots.

It is also flexible allowing roots to expand and grow without damaging the path surface with cracks and bumps.

The new path contains the equivalent of more than 380 old tyres and will be monitored by the council over the next year to see how well it performs.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

The council may use the material if the pilot scheme is a success when other footpaths are in need of renewal. As well as car tyres, it is also composed of crushed stone and polyurethane.

Councillor Anthony Rowlands, responsible for community, leisure and sport, said: "The Clarence Park consultative forum wanted to retain the lay-out of this wonderful Victorian park by retaining the look and width of the footpath.

"That didn’t look feasible until we traced this new material that has many advantages over conventional macadam.

"By using Flexi-Pave we are protecting the trees, preserving the look of Clarence Park and making use of recycled material.

"All of this is very much in keeping with our commitment to improving the district’s environment and tackling climate change."