Hedgehog friendly security fencing

Jacksons Fencing has been an advocate for helping wildlife for many years. In 2015, we were 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 our 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.

In the late 80s we 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 and chain link

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, twin wire panels, and chain link 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 got stuck in these types of fences (thankfully they’ve been freed before it’s too late by heroic humans). Many people argue that digging a hole under, or cutting a hole in the bottom of mesh or chain link fencing is sufficient to help hedgehogs through safely, but sadly it isn’t as simple as that…

  • Hedgehogs don’t carry tiny tape measures around with them to check that the hole they are about to go through is big enough – they will take the quickest route, particularly if they are startled or being chased by something.
  • If there’s one hedgehog sized hole within metres of fencing, how will the hedgehog know it’s there, and to wait until it gets to it before it attempts to cross the barrier?
  • So what’s the solution?

    As a fencing manufacturer that produces a vast range of metal security fences for almost all applications, the solution is to raise awareness of the problem and make sure that architects, specifiers, and end users are aware of the situation. All fences have pros and cons in different applications and if wildlife is even a slight concern for the scenario, then alternative products should be considered. Fortunately there is a simple solution…

    Specify vertical bar fencing

    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.

    Hedgehog friendly fencing

    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.

    Specify high concealment mesh fencing

    There are a few comparable products on the market for increasing concealment or privacy by combining mesh fencing with another material, which we discuss here, but EuroGuard® Combi is Jacksons’ solution. Featuring rigid V mesh panels which have wooden slats interlaced, the fencing is ideal for concealing what’s behind and delivering a more natural appearance, while providing the strength and security of a steel mesh fence. What’s more, the timber slats cover the mesh gaps and prevent hedgehogs from getting stuck. Although this means hedgehogs are completely prevented from crossing through the fence, this can be combatted by raising the panels slightly off the ground or digging small holes along the perimeter (in soft ground). Where a mesh fence is required over other types of fencing which allow free movement of widlife, please consider something that prevents them getting stuck.

    Low visibility fencing

    Why should we be saving hedgehogs anyway?

    In 2020 hedgehogs were listed as vulnerable to extinction. If David Attenborough hasn’t convinced you yet why we need to help every animal to thrive before it’s too late, read our guide on why and how to help hedgehogs.

    What is Jacksons Fencing doing to help?

    Many companies would turn a blind eye to the fact that there is a problem but instead we are promoting awareness of the situation and trying to encourage specifiers and customers to use alternative products by updating the following product literature:

  • Updating our product pages making customers and specifiers aware if a product is Hedgehog or wildlife friendly with the icon below.
  • Updating specification documents.
  • Raising awareness through our website and social media content.
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    Hedgehog Fencing c Jacksons Fencing

    View our Timber Hedgehog Gravel Board

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    From design and manufacturing to supply and installation, we can help you with your project. If you'd like to discuss anything in this article or need information or guidance, please feel free to contact us at any stage to discuss your requirements.