Badgers are large burrowing mammals whose numbers have increased over the last 10 years, especially around Cheshire and the North West.

The Protection of badgers Act 1992 means that badgers and their setts, notwithstanding certain exemptions, are legally protected. Put bluntly, this means that it is a criminal offence to wilfully kill, attempt to kill, injure or take a badger, or intentionally or recklessly damage a badger’s sett.

This could include knowingly damaging or destroying any part of it, obstructing access or entrance to it, causing a dog to enter it or disturbing a badger when it is occupying the sett.

However, badgers can cause damage by rooting and digging pits in lawns and turf when foraging for food such as earthworms or insect larvae. They can damage soft fruit crops, the lower branches of fruit trees, dig up and eat root vegetables, and even flower bulbs. They are also known to raid dustbins as well as creating extensive tunnel systems that have the potential to result in a risk of subsidence.

In dairy farming areas particularly, a serious concern regarding the movement of badgers is that they are likely to be hosts for TB and that infected badgers can transmit bovine TB to cattle and other animals, and vice versa.

In addition, badgers – the biggest UK land predator – are powerfully built and stocky. Fully grown they are just under a metre long, can weigh between 10-12kg, and yet are capable of passing through a gap of only 7.5cm. If they wander into roads, particularly in the dark, they can cause serious accidents, significant damage to vehicles, or be killed themselves.

Obviously, the ability to keep badgers away from livestock and roads is an important concern which is why some areas and farms install badger fencing to protect cattle from the spread of the disease, people and badgers from the potential risk of accidents on roads, and the general damage that they can cause in gardens, smallholdings, orchards or crops.

Not only can badger fencing can be a stand-alone fence, it can also be used in conjunction with post and rail fencing or livestock fencing. It uses strong, high tensile wire netting which can endure a high amount of stress before failing or breaking. This prevents badgers from tearing through or climbing over the fence, and which is usually helped by an overhang at the top which faces away from the area to be protected. In addition, it is buried to between 30 and 60cm below the surface, often at an angle to stop the badger from burrowing underneath.

At Stockdale Fencing we are well aware of the problems caused by badgers in Cheshire and the North West. We have years of experience in the installation of badger fencing, and we can offer advice and fencing solutions tailored to your specific issue.

Stockdale Fencing | Equestrian and Stock Fencing | Fledgling birds

Act Now for Spring Harmony

As winter relinquishes its grasp and the promise of spring beckons, agricultural contractors and landowners, it’s time to turn your attention to the vital upkeep of trees, hedges and fences.

Beyond the visual appeal, there’s a crucial ecological responsibility: ensuring any work that may affect these natural habitats is completed before the bird nesting season takes flight. Bird nesting season varies depending on species but generally runs from March to August.

Understanding the Time Sensitivity

With the end of February looming, the urgency to act becomes paramount. Every day counts in preparing your land for the impending bird nesting season. Waiting until the last minute risks coinciding with early nesting, potentially causing unnecessary disturbance and possibly even landing you in hot water with the law!

Why February Matters

  1. Early Bird Nesting Preparation: Acting before the end of February ensures your tree and hedge work is completed well ahead of birds actively seeking nesting sites.
  2. Legal Compliance Assurance: Timing is key for legal compliance. Undertaking maintenance before February ends ensures alignment with wildlife protection laws, keeping you in the clear.
  3. Secure Your Spot: Booking our services before the rush of spring ensures your preferred schedule, allowing our team to efficiently address your needs while prioritising bird safety.

Benefits of Swift Action

  1. Proactive Habitat Preservation: Early intervention guarantees your natural habitats remain robust, providing secure locations for birds to nest and nurture their young.
  2. Avoiding Disturbance: Completing tree and hedge work, as well as any fencing work that may interfere with these, before the nesting season means minimal disturbance to nesting birds, reducing stress and preserving habitat integrity.
  3. Peace of Mind: Get ahead of the curve and enjoy peace of mind, knowing your property is not only visually appealing but also a haven for local wildlife.

Take the Initiative: Call Us Today!

We understand the time-sensitive nature of this work and are here to assist you in ensuring a seamless transition from winter to spring. Don’t let the opportunity slip away – give us a call now to book your tree and hedge maintenance services before the end of February.

Stockdale Fencing | Equestrian and Stock Fencing | Fencing machinery

 

Today we want to shed light on a key aspect of our operations that sets us apart in the agricultural and equestrian fencing industry — our use of advanced tracked machinery. At Stockdale Fencing we take pride in our commitment to innovation, efficiency and delivering exceptional results for our clients. Let’s delve into the remarkable advantages that tracked machinery brings to the table, especially during the challenging winter months.

Conquering Wet Conditions

Winter brings wet and muddy challenges, making construction and fencing projects a daunting task. However, with our state-of-the-art tracked machinery, we can navigate and operate in these conditions with ease.

The tracks distribute the weight of the machinery evenly, reducing ground pressure and minimising the impact on wet ground. This capability ensures that we can continue our work during inclement weather and safeguards the integrity of the surrounding landscape.

Minimal Ground Disturbance

When it comes to equestrian fencing and stock fencing projects, minimising ground disturbance is crucial. Traditional wheeled machinery can create deep ruts and tear up the ground, causing disruptions that may take a significant amount of time and resources to rectify.

Our tracked machinery, however, glides smoothly over the ground, leaving minimal disturbance in its wake. This ensures that your property retains its natural aesthetics while we efficiently complete the fencing project.

No More Getting Stuck

One of the most significant headaches in winter agricultural and equestrian fencing installations is the risk of machinery getting stuck, in wet or uneven terrains.

Tracked machinery eliminates this concern by providing superior traction and stability. The tracks grip the ground securely, preventing slippage and ensuring that our machines can navigate through challenging landscapes without the fear of getting stuck.

This results in a seamless workflow, saving time and preventing unnecessary delays in project completion.

Reduced Environmental Impact

At Stockdale Fencing, we prioritise sustainable and eco-friendly practices. The use of tracked machinery aligns with this commitment by reducing our environmental footprint. With less ground disturbance and minimal mess, we contribute to the preservation of the natural ecosystem around your property. This is particularly important when working on projects such as equestrian fencing, where the well-being of animals and the surrounding environment is paramount.

Enhanced Precision in Project Execution

Tracked machinery offers superior maneuverability and control, allowing us to execute precise fencing installations.

Whether it’s equestrian fencing that demands a delicate touch or stock fencing requiring accuracy in placement, our tracked machines enable us to achieve optimal results. This precision ensures that your fencing not only serves its practical purpose but also adds aesthetic value to your property.

In conclusion, the use of tracked machinery at Stockdale Fencing is a testament to our commitment to providing the best possible solutions for your fencing projects.

If you’re considering equestrian fencing or any kind of agricultural fencing project, contact us to discuss your fencing needs and experience the difference that advanced technology can make in your project’s success.

 

Although traditional post and rail fencing has been a popular choice for many years, to maintain strength and longevity it needs proper maintenance, especially over winter. After several weeks of exposure to the wind, rain, hail, and various other winter elements, the wooden timber in post and rail being can be at risk of rotting, weakening and at risk of breaking, which in turn leaves livestock or horses vulnerable. So how do you prepare and protect your post and rail fencing?

  • Post and rail fencing is a popular choice for many fencing applications.
  • Wooden fencing can experience a lot of damage over winter leaving both fence and the livestock vulnerable.
  • How can you protect and prepare post and rail fencing from damage due to bad weather?

So, before the winter season ends, there are steps you can take to give them the best chance of survival.

Firstly, check that post and rail boundary fences are secure and that the posts are set firmly and solidly in the ground. Remove any large or loose objects near the fence that might hit and damage it when the wind gets up. Try and clear away high grass that’s touching the fence so that it doesn’t stay wet even when it isn’t raining, or if possible, try to ensure that the base of the post has adequate drainage to wick water away.

Preserve and protect the timber by treating it with preservative and wood stain, or paint. Stain will protect by penetrating the wood while painting protects by forming a barrier on the surface. Remember to treat the tops of cut posts and the ends where they join other pieces of timber. Any unprotected wood can lead to water ingress which in turn can lead to rot.

If you notice any damage to the fence and need to repair or replace a rail, consider using screws rather than nails. Although nails are quicker, easier, and cheaper, screws don’t rust, they are more secure, and less likely to be pulled out under pressure from sagging wood.

With traditional, synthetic and split post and rail fencing to choose from, most fencing contractors will also offer 2, 3 and even 4 rail options. Using cheap rails can expose, weaken and even allow animals to easily escape so it is extremely important to choose high quality rails such as fully galvanised 100mm ring shank nails. Whilst this may initally appear to be a more costly option, taken over the whole life costs of the fence, it may well be an investment work making.

Unfortunately, choosing cheaper options when it comes to post and rail may end up being false economy if it just collapses due to high winds and inclement winter weather.

Timely repair and maintenance can lengthen the life of post and rail fencing. If you’re considering involving a professional fencing company, it’s probably worth making sure that they are CPCS, CSCS, & NPTC qualified, and fully insured.

Stockdale Fencing | Livestock Fencing | Fields

It’s hedge and tree planting season! Let’s take a look at the many benefits of planting new hedges and trees. Planting is best undertaken between October and February and is a service that we offer throughout these months.

Enhanced Biodiversity: Planting hedges and trees creates vital habitats for wildlife, fostering biodiversity and promoting a healthier ecosystem.

Aesthetics: Increase the charm and appeal of your property with lush greenery and natural boundaries.

Erosion Control: Protect your land from soil erosion and improve water quality with strategically planted hedges and trees.

Privacy and security: Hedges can be your natural solution to privacy and security. By strategically planting hedges, you create a living, green screen that shields your property from prying eyes

Funding is available to cover up to 100% of the cost of planting new trees and hedges, we can help with this process.

Ready to explore the benefits of hedge and tree planting? Contact us today to discuss your project, and let’s transform your land together.

Stockdale Fencing | Post and rail fencing | Misty muddy track and broken fence

Whether for livestock, equestrian, civils, or domestic use, as autumn and winter approach and the weather become ever more unpredictable, it’s a good time to check your fences or get them checked professionally.

If they need maintenance, now is the time. Autumn’s piled up wet leaves create increased moisture which although it may not be immediately noticeable, encourages decay which can leave the fence unstable, while winter snow, ice, wind, and rain are only going to lessen a fence’s lifespan.

While wet weather may hinder some maintenance, we are fully equipped to work in wet conditions, and with tracked vehicles there is no risk of us getting stuck, or making too much mess.

Besides which, maintenance is likely to be easier before the weather gets too bad so it’s a good idea to reapply protective stain if necessary and repair or replace any structural damage such as broken, rotting, and damaged boards, posts, and rails.

And, if you decide that your fence needs a complete overhaul or even replacement, we can remove and dispose of old fencing before we begin installing your new fence. All the materials we use are built to last and all of our timber is pressure treated to a minimum standard of HC4 which can provide a service life of 10 Years.

Stockdale Fencing | Badger, otter, newt, and small animal fencing | Wooden fence and clambering route

At this time of year, most of us understand that noise from elsewhere is part and parcel of the experience when we’re in our outdoor spaces. It might be road or railway line noise, or it might even be your neighbour’s musical barbecues. And of course, if you’re the ones outside making noise, it will probably be having the same effect on them. Acoustic fencing can provide the solution.

  • More time spent outside means more exposure to noise.
  • Road, rail, or neighbours are likely to be the cause.
  • Acoustic fencing can help.

Outside spaces are great places to spend time, especially when the weather is fine, but if you live near to a busy road, a railway line, or are within close earshot of your neighbours, you might wonder if there is any way to dampen down the noise, or at least distract from it.

Acoustic timber fences are a cost-effective potential solution. Built out of dense timber and configured in a tight formation with few gaps, double-boarded, multi-sided acoustic timber fences can really help to minimise the noise by providing a solid barrier that reflects sound in all directions.

This means that as well as keeping other noises out, you’re also keeping your own noise in – enhancing your own privacy and having less of an effect on your neighbours when they’re outside too.

So long as the fence is high enough and has no gaps between panels and palings, it can be an effective noise reducer and provide a smart private screen with a modern aesthetic, as well as helping to deter unwanted visitors.

Ideal for domestic settings, acoustic fencing also works well in more commercial settings such as civils, road schemes, and housing developments.

Stockdale Fencing | Heras and Security Fencing | Tom and pony

Electric fence tape has long been a popular and practical choice as a safe solution for horse fencing in equestrian yards, paddocks and fields. It’s renowned for being affordable, quick to install, and relatively easily to break in an emergency.

Although there are plenty of options available for equestrian fencing, Tornado White Lightning is considered to be the modern version of horse tape and – despite the name – it’s also available in brown.

The advantages of Tornado Lightning are that it’s incredibly durable, and because it’s highly tensionable, it doesn’t flap about annoyingly in the wind.

We prefer to fit it to wooden posts (although it can be fitted to any type of post) placed at 3 metre intervals, on insulators, and then it can be electrified just like traditional tape.

White Lightning is installed in the same way as high tensile wire, but it offers horses significantly more protection by preventing them from jumping it, rubbing it, or chewing on it.

Any number of line wires can be installed, and it can be used with other types of horse fencing. This means that height, visibility and additional security can all be adapted to cater more exactly to the horse’s needs and the owner’s requirements.

With a 30-year manufacturer’s warranty, long-lasting, maintenance-free, highly visible and permanent, White Lightning is a great option for keeping the horses in.

At Stockdale Fencing we have years of experience in the installation of equestrian fencing. For advice, information, or to talk through your options, just get in touch.

Stockdale Fencing | Heras and Security Fencing | Managers on site in hard hats

The construction industry is suffering from an ongoing shortage of workers at the same time as technological advances are set to change the industry through a huge increase in automation and robotic technologies. This means that construction is set to enter a period of flux and the role of the worker is likely to change.

  • The construction industry has a labour shortage.
  • As it enters a period of transformative technological shift, workers’ traditional roles must adapt to survive.

A current issue for UK construction companies is the impact of workforce shortages in terms of skilled workers.

Nevertheless, the industry is entering a period of transformation. As the technological shift to more automation begins to take shape, construction companies will move to evolve how they work through the use of robotics and heavy technology on job sites and throughout the construction industry.

One of the consequences of increased automation is a potential skills discrepancy between robots that can do the physical labour previously carried out by workers such as laying the bricks or excavations or fencing the site area.

If a robot can do it, then why bother with the workers?

Well, the workers will still need to direct the automation and to do this, their technological skills will need to increase. So, a worker who up until this point has had a labour-focused job will need support to manage the transition to automation from the private and public sector, and from within the industry itself.

The current model of baseline vocational qualifications delivered by colleges the public sector will need to adapt to accommodate the pending technological shift through the curriculum for new entrants. Workers who have been in the industry for years already will need to be upskilled or reskilled altogether.

Besides public-sector input, the private sector also has a role to play in preparing apprenticed and established workers for the technological shifts and changing skills that are required. As times passes, sufficiently qualified and skilled workers will be at a premium in an industry with workforce shortages. A company’s failure to engage with these changes, to develop their workers’ skills, and to prepare them for the future would be a short-sighted approach.

However, if there is disruption ahead for construction, there is opportunity. Supporting workers to develop the skills required to succeed will create stronger supply of labour in the industry and increase productivity.

The accelerating pace of technological innovation should mean a continually evolving mix of soft and technical skills that exists with people and machines working in conjunction. Robotics and automation are coming, but at the end of the day, it is still the worker who must place each piece correctly or instruct the machine to do so.