This is a handbook about the design and construction of fences, and is one of a series of handbooks on practical conservation. Although primarily aimed at readers who are concerned with the management of land for conservation and amenity, the materials and techniques described are applicable to fences built purely for agricultural or other purposes.
The design, materials and workmanship used in fencing are all important in building a functional and long-lasting structure. A fence that is below standard in any of these respects will sooner or later become susceptible to damage by the stock or people it is intended to control. A damaged fence only creates more problems, and soon gets into a downward spiral of damage and disrepair.
The main uses of fencing directly for conservation management are to protect newly planted trees, to enclose established or mature woodlands where regeneration is needed, and for access control. Another important use is to allow grazing to be used as a management tool to manage open land such as grassland and heathland. Such grazing is important to keep down scrub and coarse grasses, and to maintain the open nature of these semi-natural habitats.
The first chapter of this handbook includes 25 different fence designs. Further information on how to build the different fences is given in chapters:
- Chapter 4 Fencing materials
- Chapter 5 Techniques for post and wire fencing
- Chapter 6 Constructing a post and wire fence
- Chapter 7 Wooden fencing
- Chapter 8 Electric fencing
Throughout the text, sequential operations are ordered 1, 2, 3 etc.
Dimensions are given in metric, with imperial equivalents. Stock netting and other wire products are supplied in metric sizes, but post and rail, wooden gates and other fencing products may be supplied in imperial sizes.