The Fence In Defence

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“Fences need to be horse high, pig tight and bull strong.” But what sort of fence do you need for cars? If you want to stop cars from getting in amongst the pedestrians; stop them demolishing trees or damaging building; if you want to make sure they don’t stray, then of course you need a fence. The most effective and certainly one of the most common types of car fences is a line of stainless steel bollards. Pigs are the very devil for getting through fences. They can wriggle through any gap in or under the fence and if they find a weak spot they will pull and chew until they find a way through. Cars however are not as flexible and most need a gap of about 1.6 metres. This lack of flexibility also means that a car fence doesn’t need rails or wire: the posts alone are sufficient if securely anchored.

Fences for sheep need to be at least a metre high to stop the sheep jumping over them. Generally speaking cars do not jump very high but bollards may also need to be about a metre high to be clearly visible. Visibility is of key importance in any fencing. If the creature cannot see the fence they are more likely to hit it, damaging either themselves or the fence. Painting concrete wheel stops bright yellow or attaching reflective lights both enhance visibility. Some animals are particularly difficult to fence, cats come to mind. They don’t see fences as an obstacle so much as a challenge. Generally speaking cars are far more amenable to being fenced, although there are exceptions. Bollards used to prevent rogue cars smashing into jewellery stores or scavenging ATM machines may need to be stronger than those used in other areas. In places such as parking lots where cars are slower moving, concrete wheel stops, the urban equivalent of cattle grids, may suffice instead.

An electric fence is considered by many to be one of the most effective forms of fencing for most creatures and well worth the additional cost. Animals quickly learn that any contact is likely to be unpleasant and thereafter tend avoid the fence. In a similar way the mere sight of bollards is usually sufficient deterrent for most cars, although inexperience or lack of attention may still result in an accidental encounter. Traffic lights and warning signs act in a similar way.  It’s not only cars that need fencing in an urban environment of course. Special fences are also needed for bikes, which are particularly susceptible to predators if left unattended for any period of time. Bike parking racks are designed with this in mind, with provision for securely attaching the frame as well as a wheel. Fences for pedestrians are often minimal, a simple barrier, a chain or even tape being sufficient in most instances. However, if the risk is high or the temptation great an extremely high fence or strong barrier may be required. Pedestrians are probably the most difficult of all creatures to fence effectively, far more so than cars. For more info about bike parking racks, visit