Choosing the correct fencing for your land is one of the most important estate management decisions that you will make, as it will ensure that your farmland remains secure throughout the year – keeping livestock safe and preventing any unwanted intrusions.
There are a number of fencing options that you can choose from, however you will, of course, need to consider the type of protection you require for your land, as well as your budget and whether your solution is ‘future proofed’.
To aid you in your decision, here are the fencing options that you will want to consider.
Post and rail fencing
Installing post and rail fencing is one of the most versatile perimeter solutions that you can opt for, as it can be easily cut to the size that you require, even after you have begun installation. As a relatively affordable option, choosing a post and rail fence is cheaper than some fabricated solutions.
Lasting for around 15 years, post and rail fencing does need to be regularly maintained to ensure that the fence remains free of rot – therefore you may wish to stain your fence if you want to prolong its lifespan. Creosoted posts are able to last for up to 30 years. However, if areas of the fence do need to be replaced, rather than having to install completely new fencing, you can simply replace the areas which need to be restored.
Post and rail fencing is one of the most suitable options for a small holding or paddock, and is particularly useful if you wish to separate livestock from one another.
Installed 1.8 metres apart, posts are six feet long and are driven into the ground using no concrete, which improves the lifespan of the fence. Both long and short runs of fencing can be installed, making it an affordable option for your paddock.
There are three main types of stock fencing which you may wish to choose from, depending on your requirements.
Specifically designed for horses and other farm animals, so that it has a smooth finish which reduces the possibility of injury, woven or smooth stock fencing is popular for those who wish to contain their livestock and reduce the risk of them escaping. To ensure that it is animal-friendly, the spaces in the wire netting are minimal so that hooves cannot get stuck. Horse netting is low maintenance and can provide extended periods of durability.
Barbed fencing is unsuitable if you are keeping livestock, as it poses a high risk of injury as animals could become caught on the fencing resulting in grazes, cuts and worse in some cases. Barbed fencing contains strands of wire which are tied along the horizontal line, so that they deter unwanted intrusions. Using this type of fencing is beneficial if, for example, your land is used to house crops, rather than livestock, as it will ensure that your crops are protected. However, if you keep livestock, then barbed fencing should not be used as this will cause harm to your animals.
High tensile fencing requires less maintenance than barbed or woven fencing, and is often able to withstand an estimated 1600lbs of pressure from livestock, and can be strained to around 250lbs of tension, without losing elasticity. This means that it is a secure, durable solution which can last up to 50 years – and although initial installation costs can be expensive, it requires little maintenance and will last for many years. High tensile stock fencing can be electrified if you want to add additional protection, however this can prove problematic for some, as you will need to ‘train’ livestock so that they don’t impact the fencing and inadvertently receive an electric shock.
Regardless of the type of stock fencing that you choose, you will need to have supporting posts in place to ensure that the wire can be installed and is reinforced correctly. At MC Country Services, we use fencing posts which have a 15-year guarantee against rot, and at your request can use creosoted posts which come with an increased lifespan at an additional cost.
The type of fencing that you choose, will depend upon the size of your land, whether you need to protect livestock or not, and your budget. If you are unsure on which fencing you should opt for, then ensure that you speak with a professional who will be able to advice on the perfect solution for you.
Wooden or metal gates will also need to be installed in areas where you require access to your field, paddock or equestrian area. A secure gate should be chosen which provides protection and security for both your land and livestock.
In areas where there is a public footpath, kissing gates should be installed to allow people to pass through, and keep livestock secure.