Watch this space for more updates on the projects we have on the go.
As New Zealand starts to settle in to level one and the new normal we have been busy working on fencing and pile driving projects across Canterbury. We started off the month tidying up and finishing off these two fencing projects in Ashburton.
Our second week back took us over to work on the peninsula taking a cut out of the side of a hill for a new set of cattle yards. We were also able to start work on deer fencing around the new Iport business park.
Watch this space for more updates on the projects we have on the go.
Many lifestyle block owners are more than capable of learning the basics of wood, wire and tape fencing. But, when it comes to farm fencing and rural livestock, there is always something more to learn.
We have been planning, building and repairing fencing across New Zealand for years and we really have seen it all, the good the bad and the ugly and there are some cattle fencing mistakes that are more common than others!
Undersized corner posts
Not knowing your property boundry
Fences come in many different sizes, materials and styles and depending on their purpose, some require more maintenance than others. Unfortunately no matter how good the quality of your fencing is, at some point they will probably need fixing or replacing. Maintaining fence lines can be a daunting task especially rural and farm fencing and even more so if you are just learning how! The most important thing is to catch problems early so any damage or wear and tear can be repaired. This is a much less costly option than leaving things too long and needing to replace the fence all together.
So, we are bringing you a list of some common fencing problems you might come across and what you can do about them.
There are a few reasons why a fence is leaning and it's a common issue that can occur. A leaning fence is usually caused by:
Tree roots can also cause problems with the foundations of your fence posts. Before carrying out any repairs or reinstalling the fence the roots will need to be dealt with first.
It can be difficult to identify problems like these as they are not alway obvious so before you take on the project yourself we alway recommend contacting a specialist fencing contractor for this. Wear Fencing is able to offer you advice on the repair and maintenance of issues like this to prevent the same damage happening again in the future.
Cracked or Damaged Fencing
As we've already mentioned, even the most we built fences can crack or deteriorate. The rails that run horizontally can become damaged if fence posts were installed to far apart, start to rot or move or if too much pressure is put on the rail for support. once again, you will need to understand why or how the rail was damaged in order to understand how to repair it.
Depending on the cause, repair options inculde:
Maintaining Wire Fencing
Wire fencing is a common choice for farm and rural fencing. It usually consists of two strainer posts adjoined to a 45 degree stay which takes the strain and stops it falling over. Between the trainer posts are evenly spread out pickets which are used to direct the wire along or around the area of your choice.
Common problems that can occur with wire fencing include:
You may also have fallen trees and branches that have caused damage to the wire or vegetation that has grown over or against the fencing. Overgrown trees are common culprits of fence damage. They grow into the fence, pressuring it into a lean. Repairing a leaning fence is generally quite affordable, and can be as simple as replacing a post and removing the tree, or part of it.
Regularly checking your fence for these types of issues will make it a much easier task to maintain fencing boundaries and often if the problem is small and simple you will be able to repair this yourself.
We do recommend that if you are having regular issues with wire fencing that you talk to a rural fencing contractor to discuss if there are other more sustainable options for you.
Preventing Damage to Fence Lines
When you have your fence installed by a fencing contractor they should let you know how to best maintain your fencing, to make it last in the short and the long term. At Wear fencing we do our best to answer any questions our clients have and educate them on what to look out for how to get the best value and life from their new fencing.
A properly installed and maintained fence can last for 10 or more years, depending on the materials. It can save a lot of time and money knowing what to look out for and steps you can take to keep your fence in good condition and fit for purpose.
If you are due for maintenance or inspection of your fencing you are looking for a fencing contractor in Christchurch or Canterbury, then Wear Fencing can help. Contact Us today for more information on repairs, maintenance, installation and information.
In the aftermath of the fires in Australia people are coming together to help those affected to rebuild. One such organisation is BlazeAid, an organisation of volunteers who help to rebuild fences and other structures that have been damaged or destroyed.
BlazeAid is a volunteer-based organisation that works with families and individuals in rural Australia after natural disasters such as fires and floods. The organisation works with those affected who are not insured or are under-insured for the cost of rebuilding their rural fencing, or where their personal, physical or financial circumstances are such that they are in genuine need of BlazeAid’s assistance.
BlazeAid volunteers work in a disaster-affected areas for many months, not only helping individuals and families, but also helping rebuild the local communities. Volunteers work in fencing teams, with at least one experienced fencer in each team. Working together, they clear the fence lines and re-stand, rebuild or replace fences, working with those affected so that they don't have to work on the repairs alone. Many friendships are formed among volunteers and families as they work together on the fence lines.
You can find more information and live updates on the Australian Bushfires here
The 2017 Healthy Waterways report has recorded its best stream health trends in 21 years, in the Taranaki Region.
Published by the Taranaki Regional Council, the report looked at trends from 20 years of monitoring and showed most measures were improving or not changing significantly for the ecological health and physical and chemical state of 99% of Taranaki rivers and streams.
TRC director of environment quality, Gary Bedford, said the report's findings were exciting and validated community efforts to improve water quality. "We're excited about the latest assessments of in-stream life – these are the little insects living in water - the primary indicator of water quality, these are the best ever results since we began measuring," he said.Bedford attributed the changing course of Taranaki water health trends to the work of farmers and landowners, as part of TRC's riparian planting and rural fencing scheme.
When comparing the regions water quality data with the national standards it was found that across the 11 different monitored sites
You can read the full report here
However, a new study from has found that rural and farm fencing is only the start when it comes to improving New Zealand waterways.
Freshwater scientists at the Cawthron Institute found that Holistic and sustainable land management are needed in order to restore waterways.
"There is no simple solution to restoring a healthy river ecosystem," said lead author Katharina Doehring. "rural fencing is just one component. Stock can't get into the river and can't deposit faeces in fenced sections of the river" . Farm fencing and rural fencing reduces E coli and sediment inputs in the water. Short sections or Rivers and streams that have been fenced don't then repair themselves. The only indicator that improved in this study was shade, brought about by planting along stream edges. As they mature, bushes and trees shade the water and can lower its temperature, a desirable result. The bigger picture is that streams and rivers are connected ecosystems and restoration needs to happen across whole catchments.
"Our waterways need to be managed at a catchment or large scale because small scale efforts have little effect on stream ecosystem health," Doehring said. "Ideally the landowners in a catchment work together and develop … a coordinated environmental management plan for that catchment'
Unfortunately there isn't a single answer and it depends on what landowners can afford however Dohering is urging land owners to continue fending and planting as they are important first steps.
A well-built fence blends with its environment and follows the contours of the land. There's one really easy way to know if a fence is well built: a good fence is one you don't notice.
That's the golden rule of experienced contractor Simon Fuller, the President of the Fencing Contractors Association of NZ (FCANZ).
When you're looking for a fencing contractor these are our top tips to getting a quality job done by skilled contractors.
Word of mouth is a great way to narrow down your list of potential fencing contractors. Many contractors run ads in local newspapers and may be perfectly good fencers but just because their ad looks professional, don't assume anything. Do your research, social media is a fantastic way to find honest customer feedback. Ask around at your local timber yard or farm fencing merchants and ask for recommendations. Most will have two or three that they recommend on a regular basis.
Nothing beats a close-up inspection of the contractor's past work. If possible, see if you can inspect a recently completed fencing job that is similar to your project.
Look for a member of the Fencing Contractors Association
This industry group only accepts fencing contractors who can prove their competency to a high level. They must:
Availability - a good contractor will make you wait!
A good fencing contractor is never short of work, so be a little wary of anyone who says they’re available immediately.
Smaller jobs can be carried out within short time frames, but larger projects generally require some forward planning. It can be at least a few weeks before they can start so it pays to start talking to potential contractors a month or two in advance.
Like many other trades, good fencing contractors are busy people and you might have to wait a few days for them to get back to you to organise a time to do a quote. If you're trying to get hold of a contractor, it's highly likely they're out of reception, or they are using heavy, noisy machinery so they don't always hear their phone or they mightn't be able to stop - those are things to be conscious of when you're ringing people.
Get a few quotes
Gathering several quotes is always a good idea to get a gauge on costs for labour and materials. While the price is important, it shouldn't be the only deciding factor. A quote that comes in much lower than the others can often indicate the contractor is using inferior materials. This is a false economy when it comes to fencing as the labour costs to rectify a failed fence will outweigh any initial savings on materials. Look for contractors who provide quality materials, the right machinery and a high level of craftsmanship.
Local experience is essential, as terrain can vary significantly across different regions. Although a well established contractor may charge a little more, you will have the peace of mind knowing that they are a local accountable business who will be around for years to come.
The exception to the three quote rule is when a fencing contractor comes highly recommended by multiple sources. If he has a good reputation, go with that contractor!
For more information and advice on your next fencing project contact us we have the know-how, team and plant to get the job done.
We build durable South Island fencing solutions which are suitable for kiwi conditions. Our mobile unit enables us to deploy and base our crew on-site. This delivers a faster turnaround times and value for our rural customers.
We are a full-service fencing contractor and our services including planning, design, construction, installation and repairs and maintenance.
Our Earthmoving and Excavation services include land clearing, tree removal, irrigation projects and upgrades, dairy conversions, dams and ponds, pipe and cable laying, site works and construction, demolition, landscaping, section development and underground infrastructure.
Environment Minister David Parker unveiled a blueprint of plans for environmental change
The blueprint included new rules by 2020 around freshwater quality. The environment Minister said he would change the Resource Management Act within a year to amend consenting processes and ensure stronger environmental enforcement.
Freshwater ecologist Mike Joy explained the plans outlined a change in systems.
"There's going to be some inclusion of the ecosystem health, so a redo of the national policy statement, which is one of the big failings in the last seven or eight years." Under this process the national policy statement and environmental standards would clarify that the way to improve ecosystems was via intensity reduction and change of land use practices.
He was content the plan had good goals that force change in a hurry but acknowledged they would be difficult to achieve by 2020. "It'll be extremely difficult, [but] we can make short-term changes by getting fences up and then stopping point source discharges."
Federated Farmers water spokesperson Chris Allen also said that the timeframe was ambitious, but farmers have already started the process of improving rural and farm fencing.
"There's a huge amount of work going on. We've just got to identify where those catchments are that have really got water quality issues,"
Fencing of waterways has proven very effective where it has been used to combat the risks of contamination from agriculture
AgResearch’s Professor Rich McDowell, the chief scientist for the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge, was speaking after the publication of a study looking at policies for fencing waterways on contamination loads in New Zealand waterways.
The Ministry for the Environment’s Our Freshwater 2017 report indicates that urban waterways have the worst overall water quality in New Zealand, but much of the public focus in recent years has been on the impact of agriculture - particularly dairy farming - on waterways in rural areas.
“Fencing is very effective at reducing contaminant loads to waterways - by 10 to 90 per cent depending on the nature of the contaminants and local issues, Fencing works especially well for the likes of E. coli or phosphorus contamination that can result from animal waste or stream bank destabilisation. Prof McDowell says.
“A combination of better awareness of the issues and the use of good management practices (including rural fencing) in the right place is starting to reverse degrading trends in the likes of phosphorus and sediment in the water over the last decade,” Prof McDowell says.
You can read the study at: https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/jeq/articles/46/5/1038
Fencing in Christchurch or Canterbury? Did you know the Fencing Act 1978 suggests adequate fences for urban and rural settings as follows:
Specimen types of fence
Fencing waterways protects freshwater from nutrients, effluent and sediment by excluding stock and creating a buffer between water and the land.
Fencing will help to maintain and improve water quality and create a habitat for birds and freshwater species.
Fencing waterways is a priority under the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord.
All stock must be excluded from all lakes and any permanently flowing rivers, streams, drains and springs, more than 1m wide and 30cm deep.
Any significant wetlands, as identified in a regional plan or policy statement, must also have had all stock permanently excluded.
Waterway fencing must be far enough back to allow for movement/flooding of the waterway.
Start by mapping your waterways and create a fencing plan; consider the overall layout of your farm; along with protecting waterways, new fencing can improve grazing management and stock control.
Plan fence lines and crossing points; the area between the fence and waterway will slow runoff to ensure as much bacteria, phosphorus and sediment as possible is filtered out before entering the waterway.
Choose your fence setback depending on how you are going to manage the area. There are four main ways to manage your riparian areas as outlined below. All have the benefit of stock exclusion and reducing phosphorous and sediment from entering waterways.
Additional benefits and limitations for each option are listed below to help you decide on the fence setback that will best suit your needs.
Grass filter strip between fence and waterway
Rural Fencing is in our DNA. The following fencing glossary may help you identify the requirements for your rural fencing.
These posts are used to define a change in the direction of a fence. They are a more substantial post that is stayed for extra support.
This refers to the stapling of wooden battens to the fence between line posts to retain wire spacing and improve stock retention.
The bevel (or chamfer) is used to take the sharp edges off the post tops.
This is the levelling of ground contour before fence construction, which helps to keep the wires clear off the ground. This is usually done with bulldozers.
These posts define the gullies or low points in the fence line. They are usually footed as they are holding the fence down and are subject to lifting.
The piece of wood placed at the bottom of strainer posts to add strength and prevent twisting and lifting of the post when under pressure. The size of the foot needed will vary depending on ground conditions and soil types. Foots are also used to secure dip posts.
These are used to fix and support a gate to the strainer post.
This defines the line of the fence during construction. It is a wire that runs from one end of the fence to the other end and around any angle posts.
Wire dispenser used to reel out or ‘pay out’ wire along the fence line.
These are ‘intermediate posts’ that are placed between the strainer, rise and dip posts to hold the fence and wires upright.
These are the main fence wires put onto the fence during construction. The quantity of line wires can vary depending on the fence’s purpose.
This is the chiselled out area and support joint where the stay is joined to a strainer post. It adds extra support.
Refers to the method used to secure the strainer and angle posts in the ground. It involves compacting of soil, sub-soil and top soil around the post and footing.
These posts define the high points or rises in the fence line and are usually only needed where there is hilly contour.
Refers to the turning or twisting of the post in the hole, which is detrimental to the fence. It can be corrected with footing.
Small end diameter.
This post is used to support the strainer and angle posts against the strain of the line wires. It runs on an angle from the upper end of the post to the ground.
This is the block (sometimes referred to as the dead man) that the stay rests on. It works by giving the stay a greater bearing surface in the ground.
This is the end post (main post) of the fence and the main strain carrier of the wires.
This refers to the tightening of the wires on the fence.
This is done after the tensioning of the wires has been done and refers to the tying of wires to the end strainer post.
Refers to the size and the diameter of the wire.
Refers to the wire spacing on the fence.
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