The Marmite Fence

In 2019 the fence alongside the B2178, opposite Oakwood, was replaced. The previous wooden post and barbed wire fence had reached the end of its life having suffered the effects of the elements, vehicle crashes, deer strikes and falling timber.

The replacement fencing is a stock-proof 1.2m X-fence galvanised product supported by the Clipex post and strainer system.

The new fence divides opinion … which is an issue as it was chosen to last

This fencing system had been tested in a short run for cost of installation, durability, effectivness and of course aesthetic properties.

As with any cap-ex decision we were wanting to satisfy a number of criteria to the greatest level of return. Aesthetic being only one weighted criteria. Other criteria included:

  • Durability of materials to the ravages of the english climate
  • Flexibility and speed of installation
  • Repairability
  • Strength and safety
  • Ability to contain stock of all sizes, from lambs to cattle
  • Safety – design to prevent lambs getting heads stuck
  • Effectiveness at reducing deer migrating across B2178 and causing accidents

It turns out this fence evokes quite different reactions from users of the B2178. Much like marmite the feedback has been starkly opposing. With responses ranging from it being used as a landmark (“where that smart fence is”) to “I don’t like it, why?”

Understandably these responses focus primarily on the aesthetic, with a trend for those in favour to see the aesthetic in a positive light when there is a natural appreciation of the function.

Like all things, the aesthetic will undoubtedly change over time through weathering and vegetation growth. Perhaps all that will be left to appreciate then is the function, less dead deer, and far fewer car parts being recovered from the field.

Continue Reading

Why didn’t we think of this before

Damage to the Cypress trees caused by the deer

We have been so careful with our Cypress trees. First letting them get used to the climate in the walled garden then planting them out 18 months later.

They have taken very well and we have been very pleased with them. But then just as we started to see their trunks gaining strength they get massacred by the deer.

The deer have used all but two of them as rubbing posts and as a result the bark has been badly damaged.

We have lost one and two will be on their way having been totally ringed.

What I can’t believe is how slow we have been to come up with a solution of the four protective posts. Time will tell if they keep the deer away but at least they will continue to let the trees sway in the wind and strengthen their trunks further.

Our previous attempts had included repellent chemicals, fishing line (the children kept getting garroted), and a security light. None of which worked

Continue Reading

Deer frustrations

We have a real deer problem in the garden. Every time we plant something in the garden, outside the walled garden, no sooner is it established than the deer either eat it, smash it or fatally mark it.

This time it has been the cypress trees. As usual, they have been allowed to establish themselves for a few years. Then all of a sudden this winter the deer have decided to smash them to bits. Ripping all the bark and lower branches off one by one and each night finding a way to do a bit more damage.

Before Christmas I put up a security light hoping to scare them away. But it has made no difference and they have continued their destruction and have even got closer to the buildings.

Does anyone know how to stop deer destroying your garden?

We have tried every kind of smell and chemical to deter them but it really hasn’t made any difference that we can see.

The local pest control guy says the only thing to do is shoot them but down here it is too flat and populated for anyone to do this safely – although I wish our neighbouring farmers on the Downs would do their bit.

I am trying something new this evening. I have tied all the trees together with fishing line and then put some runs in the bushes where the deer push through to make their way around the garden.

The idea is that an unknown obstacle and one that can’t be seen might just give them a proper fright. It is safe because if they get tangled up the line will break easily but not before giving the bushes nearby a good shake.

I feel the benefit of something that can’t be seen is that the deer can’t jump it so easily which they have done with the high barbed wire fences we put up.

I’ll try and report back on progress and I hope this isn’t simply that I have tripped myself up ten times with my own hidden wires!

Continue Reading