Jacksons Fencing has been an advocate for helping wildlife for many years. In 2015, it was the first British fencing manufacturer to create a hedgehog friendly timber gravel board.
The gravel board is treated for ground contact and can be used with all its timber fence panels and slotted posts, simultaneously protecting the fence panel from the ground while allowing hedgehogs to pass through the specifically designed hole.
Hedgehogs depend on being able to move between gardens in search of food and mates for their survival, so this one small change can have an extremely positive impact on their declining population.
Last year, schools across Wales became part of a trial project to become ‘Hedgehog Friendly Schools’. The scheme, funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, aims to make primary schools in the UK safer and more welcoming for hedgehogs.
Measures implemented at the participating schools included litter picks, running hedgehog footprint and wildlife camera surveys, planting hedgehog-friendly plants, as well as raising awareness of the hedgehog decline in their local community.
The University of Hull has also made a pledge to create a hedgehog friendly campus, partaking in similar activities as well as installing bug houses, attaching hedgehog awareness stickers to gardening equipment, sending leaflets around campus, and building hedgehog houses.
Many road designs and public spaces are also incorporating wildlife crossings and highways, with Highways England adding animal crossings and otter ledges to the A30 in Cornwall, and Lanark railway station cutting holes in timber fences to allow movement of hedgehogs around the area.
Hedgehogs are currently listed as ‘vulnerable’ in the UK, so these tactics are all important for helping the population to thrive, but what more can be done?
In the late 1980s, Jacksons started manufacturing steel security fencing, including a range of vertical bar and metal railings, and welded mesh panels. With urbanisation and the changing security landscape, the popularity of these metal security products has increased over the years, and these products are commonly seen protecting all types of properties.
Hedgehogs can find food, shelter, and mates in any location – whether it’s residential or commercial. Unfortunately, it has come to light that some commercial fencing types are less hedgehog friendly than others.
Welded mesh panels are a popular choice in many applications – they are simple to install, offer high visibility, and are often cost effective. While 358 mesh and similar mesh types do not allow hedgehogs to even attempt to pass through, mesh fencing with bigger apertures such as V mesh and twin wire panels actually pose a worse threat to the species.
The gaps are small, but not small enough to stop a hedgehog from attempting to get through the fence and then getting stuck. We’ve seen a few images of hedgehogs which have been trapped in these types of fences.
Many people argue that digging a hole under, or cutting a hole in the bottom of mesh fencing is sufficient to help hedgehogs through safely, but sadly it isn’t as simple as that. Hedgehogs will take the quickest route, particularly if they are startled or being chased by something, and will not stop to check if a hole is too small to pass through.
Vertical bar fencing ticks all the boxes when it comes to security and hedgehog preservation. Featuring pales spaced to conform to anti-trap regulations, hedgehogs have more than enough room to pass between the pales to the other side.
Its welded pale-through-rail tubular construction with concealed panel-to-post connectors and fixings is strong, secure, and tamper-proof. Additionally, it provides a smart appearance which is ideal for creating a welcoming environment, while visibility is not hindered by its slender pales.
Conservation and sustainability go hand-in-hand, so when thinking of installing vertical bar fencing, consider investing in a high quality, galvanised solution with a 25 year guarantee.
This will ensure that any manufacturing faults are covered, as well as reducing costly repairs and replacements, and preventing rusty fencing from going to landfill. Fewer installations will also prevent disturbing wildlife and habitats in the grounds.
Find out more about the differences between welded mesh and vertical bar fencing here.
Stowting Common Ashford
email: [email protected]
telephone: 01233 750 393
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