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Duckboards (in Finlandmarker ) are platform of wooden slats built over muddy ground to form a dry passageway .

Hiking

Hikers and other pedestrians currently use duckboards to safely pass moist areas of ground, such as a swamp or shores of a lake. They are often built from one or two parallel, wide split logs. Specially wide duckboards are often used to provide wheelchair access. Duckboards are nailed into their support logs at the end of the logs with wooden stakes.

In Finlandmarker, there are countless kilometers of duckboards, most prominently in nature preservation areas, nature paths and on moist routes leading to bird observation towers.

World War I

During World War I, duckboards were used to line the bottom of trenches on the Western Front, as these were regularly flooded. Mud and water would lie in the trenches for months on end. The boards helped to keep the soldiers' feet dry and prevent the development of trench foot caused by prolonged standing in waterlogged conditions. They also allowed for troops' easier movement through the trench systems. In the Ypres Salient duckboards were laid at ground level to help soldiers advance to the front lines. Falling or slipping off the duckboards could often be deadly, with unfortunate soldiers drowning in mud under the weight of their equipment.

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