If you live in a rural area and you keep animals or grow crops, you will doubtless need suitable fencing. Fencing can provide protection and security, keep animals in place as well as clearly indicate where the boundaries of your property lie.
As for the type of fencing you go for, there are many different types available that fall into several broad categories and each type will be best suited for particular applications. Essentially, choice is going to depend on what the purpose is and what your property needs, as well, of course, the budget you have available. Let’s take a quick look at the different types of rural fencing available so that you have a better idea of what your options are.
Barbed Wire Fencing
Relatively cheap and easy to install, barbed wire fencing provides a level of security against intruders whilst the barbs work well to deter the attentions of larger livestock and prevent the sort of pressure damage these animals can incur on ordinary wire or wood fencing.
Barbed wire is also one of the most popular types of rural fencing. It is particularly popular when it comes to areas where cattle are enclosed. It is constructed from metal wire, which has sharp barbs regularly positioned on it. This is to deter animals away from the fencing. It is secured with vertical wood or metal posts positioned into the ground. Whilst it is popular, it is not the most suitable option for sheep as the barbs can snag on the sheep’s wool. It can also be dangerous for horses as their hide can catch on the sharp barbs.
If there is one material that is popular for fencing in any setting, it is wood. This is because wood is a strong and durable material that is also affordable, it is also aesthetically pleasing with its natural appearance . So, if you have large areas that you want to fence in, wooden fencing can be an economical choice. If you properly maintain and look after wooden fencing, it can last for up to 40 years, however you need to research carefully the type of wood you are using and what it has been treated with, or how it has been dried before purchase, as untreated or poorly treated softwood can rot incredibly quickly. Usefully, treated timbers have a classification system, with UC1 being the least resistant to decay and UC4 giving the top level of protection. Obviously, costs vary considerable depending on the type of wood used and the treatment it has undergone. Post and rail fencing is the traditional style of rural fencing you see on farms. This includes having timber rails and stakes.
Electric fencing utilizes wire, tape or rope (usually with a minimum thickness of 2.5mm) that is powered by either a battery, mains or solar energizer.
Electric fencing is also good if your land is to be heavily grazed as larger animals quickly learn not to lean against the fencing as it will give them a sharp, yet harmless shock. However, planning and establishing an effective permanent or temporary electrified area of fencing can be complex and there are many different elements to consider such as the earthing, type of energizer, positioning (for example the fence must be positioned away from any hedging), gateways and, of course, maintenance. Electric fences can also act as a deterrent for possible intruders, however, there are strict rules and regulations for providing warning signage for all electrified fencing.
Stock netting is available in standard mild steel or much tougher high-tensile wire. If your budget can stretch to it, always go for the high-tensile version as it is stronger, lasts longer and can be pulled tighter, meaning you need fewer posts. Posts can be wood or metal. The size of the mesh varies according to intended usage and you need to ensure you select the right type for your intended enclosure.
Post spacing varies according to the conditions and the type of wire used. For standard mild steel wire, posts should be no more than 11ft apart, but a professional contractor using high-tensile wire could increase up this to 20ft.
Think About Its Purpose
If you are looking at your options when it comes to rural fencing, always remember why you are purchasing that fencing. In other words, you need to think about what the fencing is for, whether it is for protecting chickens or keeping cattle from straying. When you have the purpose in mind, you can ensure that you make the right purchasing decision. It’s important, also, to consider the location and area where the fencing is being deployed and its suitability for each type of fencing.