The Bellinghman (bellinghman) wrote,
The Bellinghman

On getting some exercise

So yesterday, we went out nearby to do something I haven't done in a very long time indeed.


And it's bloody good exercise too.

We managed to achieve roughly a third of the enclosure of a two acre plot - though it helped that we only had to hand drive one post, because if we'd tried to do them all, at roughly 5m intervals round an area which must be something like 50m by 100m, that would have taken days on its own. Happily for us, a machine post driver was used for most of them.

(And the corner posts, and gate posts, could not have been done by hand at all - they were cut down telegraph poles.)

To do rabbit fencing, the Wimpole way, step one is ... oh, wait a moment, step 0 involves ploughing the entire area. It's a lot easier to plough first and fence afterwards rather than to fence, and then try to run a plough along a fence. They've also ploughed a margin 12m wide round the area, which will be planted with grass and clover and wild flowers, and which will be a killing ground for any rabbits eyeing up the fence itself.

Step 1 involves running a groove trench around the entire area to be enclosed. This is perhaps a foot deep.
Step 2 places the posts on the inside edge of this groove, and driving them home. In this case, they're (mostly) going down into clay, so a bit of an effort if one has to hand drive, but once driven, the result is nice and firm. I say mostly, because one managed to find the old stream bed and went in a little further than expected.
Step 3 involves emptying the soil from the trench.
Step 4 is to run a pair of heavy gauge wires, at the base and halfway up the posts. These are tightened till they sing, and stapled to the posts.
Step 5 requires the chicken wire to be unrolled alongside the fence, and then offered up to the posts and wire. The wire should be high enough that the bottom lies into that groove, but no further.
Step 6 has you stapling the top of that chicken wire to the posts.
Step 7 involves a top wire being run along, which will meet each post at the same point as the top of the chicken wire.
Step 8 involves clipping the chicken wire to the support wires. The top wire is attached twice between each pair of posts, and the middle and bottom wires but once.
Step 9 staples the chicken wire to the posts at the level of the middle and bottom wires.
And step 10 is the infilling of the groove trench.

Step 11 will be the tamping down of the soil into the trench to dissuade rabbits from trying to dig under, but this will involve a tractor running along the fence edge, as that is much faster and much more effective.

And once that's done, why, we'll not need to face this scene (from Something Positive:

The field is here, being roughly the north half of the smaller field to the right. The soil is rather fine, nice and friable, and with almost no sign of stones in it at all.

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