NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: combined hedge and fence  (Read 4118 times)

captainmark

  • Joined Dec 2017
combined hedge and fence
« on: December 27, 2017, 03:05:11 pm »
Hi all; we have after a very long search finally bought 10acres of pasture - initally for our horses once we have moved. (we have to relocate for this to be affordable). Then probably goats / sheep / veg etc.  Eventually hoping to obtain PP to live there and be as self sufficient as possible. First job before we move is to erect fences to public footpath boundaries (around some of perimeter and also a crossfield). We have met the local highways people and have agreed and established everything and will be posting friendly notices telling everyone what is happening - our dilemma however is deciding fence type etc. There will be 1000m plus so can't afford to make a mistake!!  We have concluded the solution will probably be a stock fence 900 high + 2 strands plain wire with chestnut posts. Then plant in line with posts bare root / whips to grow a mixed species hedge giving privacy and a permanent stock / dog proof boundary - and avoiding the need to replace fence when posts rot through - be it 5/8/12/15 years??? Thinking is the stock netting will stay in place and be totally covered in hedge. Whilst growing we will use an addtional electric rope fence to keep horses off new hedge plants.   Seems a good idea but are we overlooking anything? Will the hedge damage the fence and reduce lifespan for example? Has anybody tried this? Any thoughts / opinions / ideas much appreciated please.  Footpaths out of interest agreed to be 2m wide with a further 1.5 to hedge - and therefore fence if we run with this plan. Which then throws out another question (sorry we really are beginners!) is that then wide enough for hedgecutting tractor once hedge grown?  (There will be 3m gates to access).   sorry, one more question - can we plant whips straight into pasture?? we are going to have a lot of them! 

many thanks and look forward to thoughts / ideas please..........kr..........Mark  :horse:
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 01:50:21 pm by captainmark »
Voss Electric Fence

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: combined hedge and fence
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2018, 09:45:11 am »
Your hedge will be eaten out as soon as you remove the electric fence, even once the hedge is established - it might have top growth but it will soon become open around the bottom and no longer be stock proof.

Wooden fence posts will rot out sooner that you expect - look at Clipex fence posts as an alternative (and use telegraph poles as end strainers).

Have you considered putting the hedge on the footpath side of the fence?

Think about how you are going to maintain the hedge in the future too - are you going to flail it, or are you going to lay it?  (laying it will keep it tighter, more bushy, and it's quite fun to do if you are that way inclined)  Either way you need to consider what access you need for that. Flails and stock netting don't go well together so you don't want a hedge to grow around/over the fence.  I can't comment about tractor widths etc as I don't have one and wouldn't ever want to flail a hedge :).

captainmark

  • Joined Dec 2017
Re: combined hedge and fence
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2018, 06:31:20 pm »
Thanks Foobar

Aim was for the netting / wire to remain in and covered by hedge keeping it permanently dog/stock proof even at bottom. Eventually flail at about 5ft-6ft above the wire - appreciate flailing and wire don't go well together but should be ok if still in place.  (conversation needed i think with local hedge contractors to ensure they are happy with that??). The crucial question is I guess will the netting /wire / posts be lifted / broken by hedge??   (The posts once rotted can stay there)

Or maybe as you suggest we look at laying it.......and eventually losing the netting. No good on footpath side though - big feet and dogs will soon destroy new plants!

Have looked at clipex - would appear to have sharp corners so no good for horses.  Although may be an option to consider on footpath side -  it would define boundary better to avoid any future disagreement - but to enable sufficient space for tractor / flail need to allow more width than agreed then additional gap to hedge to avoid growing through.

thanks for your time - if anyone has any more ideas/comments (good or bad!!) much appreciated please. Can't afford to make a mistake.

(gates now probably aiming for pairs or 12fts)   :)

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: combined hedge and fence
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 07:48:26 pm »
I currently have pigs sheep goats horses and have had post and rail, electric, hedge and stock met with posts, and on post and rail.  What I have learnt:

No fence lasts forever
No hedge lasts forever
If you are there for the long term (more than a decade) worth considering the ease of replacement. My guess is your proposition may take you from 10 to towards 15 years but will be a big job to sort long time unless you are willingly put anew fence and leave the old one lost in the undergrowth when the posts give up..

Best and cheapest option for all species I keep is stock net and posts about 1m or so infront of a hedge. Gives best weather protection and security. Always worth running an electric wire along a new fence to keep horses from scratching on it they love to destroy a fence the newer the better. I doubt you will get a gap free hedge before your fence starts to give and you won't be able to lay the hedge with wire tangled in it and as I understand it laying is critical for a gap free hedge. Get the biggest round posts you can afford for the fence the thicker they are the longer they take to rot and 50% of the installation cost is labour.

Yes talk to a good hedge layer, they know there stuff.  Personally I think a lot of people think of fencing as a one off cost, hence why there is so much shockingly badly maintained fences around and it may be wiser to consider it a regular maintenance cost and do a length every few years.

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: combined hedge and fence
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2018, 08:38:32 am »
Fence post treatments have altered over the years.  If you can get pressure injected creosoted posts they are worth the extra costs as the modern tanalized ones only have the treatment to about half an inch deep and soon rot.  Cut across a post to see how deep the treatment has penetrated before buying if possible.

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: combined hedge and fence
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 11:29:48 am »
One thing I have learnt from hedgelaying, is that "you are always laying for the next man". (or woman)  It makes you think about the future and what the hedge will be like in 20 or 30 years time.  And the same thing applies to fencing too.  Don't mix the hedge with the fence - it just means that you can't maintain the fence and yes the hedge will push your fence around (posts and wire).  It's also very hard to remove stock netting from inside a hedge.
Hedge on the foot path side - if you use protectors on the edge plants I would have thought they will survive just fine, unless your footpath is like the M25? :)
Clipex & horses - like any fence you want to keep your horses off it, even if it's wood, they will damage most all fences ... hence I would suggest you use a strand of electric wire along the top of the inside - clipex make standoffs for this purpose (google "clipex insulator").  I would do this even if you use timber posts as horses will lean into your wire to get to the nice bits of your hedge.
As others have said speak to your local contractors/hedgers for more advice - they will be able to come and look and get a better idea of the best course of action :).

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: combined hedge and fence
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 02:06:38 pm »
I can understand why you'd choose to have plain wire on the top of the fence but in my opinion its much better to use barbed and have in inner electric fence to keep horses away from the fence.

Horses will just lean over the plain wire to graze the hedge or grass the other side, and of course can get their legs stuck in the stock fence. I've never had a problem with sheep or goats and barbed wire either. The plain wire I've used in the past has sagged after a few years. I'd also be wary of people jumping over the plain wire to access the field. I think barbed would be a much better deterrent.

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: combined hedge and fence
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2018, 12:19:45 am »
My pal has about 1500 hundred metres of willow hedging down his access lane that he put in 10 years ago . He also has 19 acres or so split into four paddocks that have hawthorn , self seeded hedge shrubs & trees in about 3 KM of paddock fencing .
 Now he has to spend  a heck of a lot of time keeping it cut back , so he can drive down the lanes to his home .
 In summer it seems that no sooner has he got the the end he has to start all over again as he does it all himself by hand . A tractor & hedge cutter attachment is something I'd recommend you to get by the end of year five .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: combined hedge and fence
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2018, 07:52:38 am »
I too would advise against mixing the hedge and fence .... once established and intertwined it will be difficult to maintain either. 
 Well done for having consulted with highways and us .... as you say a big expense to get wrong.   
 Have you considered the inconsiderate/ idiotic dog walkers .....  whose dogs can/will jump?
Also worth thinking about footpath maintenance .... will you mow it?
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
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bazzais

  • Joined Jan 2010
    • Allt Y Coed Farm and Campsite
Re: combined hedge and fence
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2018, 11:13:20 am »
I would advise rotovate a lane then putting a weed guard down (we used the old plastic off our big bales as we cut them in such a way it comes off in a panel round the outside and two rounds, top and bottom) and use protectors on any new hedging for a good first years growth or they will get strangled by grass and eaten by small animals - also having at least 1m gap between the fence and the new hedge if you have ponies.

I know ponies can get damaged if they accidentally run into a barbed fence, this rarely happens - we use barb everywhere with no problem so far touch wood, as has been said they generally put a foot out and get trapped in the stock fence.  We have used wire but the ponies wreck a new fence within a week, reaching over it and leaning on it to scratch.

I doubt you will ever have just the hedge as a boundary if you have animals - hedges like that are generally around fields that don't have livestock.

Animals eat hedge if they can get to it. Full stop.

We have not made our double fenced areas wide enough and the ponies are destroying everything My option this year is to place batton over the top from one side to the other and putting barb over the top top stop them leaning over - infact if I know ponies I think the batton might have to be upgraded to something that cant be snapped by a big fat heads.

Its also worth looking to see if you can get any grants for the work, you can get grants for trees on the woodlandtrust site and sometimes grants are available for hedging.  Also look into maybe getting some support from your local council to help fence off the footpath - you might get lucky.

captainmark

  • Joined Dec 2017
Re: combined hedge and fence
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2018, 08:23:18 am »
Thanks all for your thoughts.  time on our side fortunately.  Still not quite there yet but have concluded one of 2 options:

1. Stock fencing (high quality British steel) with hedge growing through!  (yes i know!)   Have met fencing contractor who has done this on his own property for same reasons so they don't have to do it again when the posts rot - but for obvious reasons they don't promote.  Doesn't lift fence either. Also local hedge cutting contractor happy with this based on hedge being min 1 foot above fence.

2.  Going to look at Clipex again (possibly with hedge 1m or so away) as will be putting in additional electric fencing for the paddocks.

Either way there will be gap around paddock perimeters (to the hedge/stock fence) for access and riding!

Any more thoughts welcome please!  ...................ma


mart6

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Notts / Yorkshire border
Re: combined hedge and fence
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2018, 08:06:13 pm »
My original hedges are same as your plan
Stock fences buried in hedge i continued same as existing no real problems with flail mower
We have goats put electric fence inside hedge, twice a year i let goats  prune side of hedge for a couple of days.
Mate flails hedge higher than stock fence so no issues.
He used to fail  sides never had issues due to width.
As you say quite a few posts are rotton now and hedge holds stock fence  in place.

captainmark

  • Joined Dec 2017
Re: combined hedge and fence
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2019, 07:03:44 am »
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captainmark

  • Joined Dec 2017
Re: combined hedge and fence
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2019, 07:23:33 am »
Hi all

thank you for all the thoughts and opinions.  If it helps anyone else we settled on british stock fencing, plain wire, and properly creosoted octoposts. The posts were more money but if they do what they say on the tin will prove to be longer lasting and value for money (which from the research i have done appears they will?).  Hedges planted 6-12" in to grow through but only where privacy required (about 500 whips). They've had  a hard time of it with the summer conditions so fingers crossed they will pick up again in spring. about 85% still alive. another 500 to do over Christmas break! And also going to 'plant' hawthorn/sloe/rose etc berries' harvested last month and let nature do the rest - fingers crossed on ths one.  Have seen plenty of examples since original post where fences not pushed up / out of place!

in addition in the process of slowly 'mending' existing perimeter stock fencing on a tight budget! Post were all gone and somebody had just rammed them in further where possible bending over net at bottom!  net in remarkably good condition so have rammed in 3-4" chestnt posts at about 5m cc.  gradually releasing net from old posts, lifting and securing to new posts.  Floppy bit in middle securing with road pins weaved through net.  So far working very well !!   New barbed wire on top.

hope this helps someone else.........................

 

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