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.
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
- 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.