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Gratefully received - a note from Rob Rawlings of Wellground Alpacas March 2010
Just a little note to update you on our badger-proof fencing project here at Wellground.
We are just over a week into the project. If anyone is considering this route, it's worth learning a few things from our experience. Please don't be put off by what I have to say, it's just fair to warn everyone of the realistic issues involved.
The first issue is that the badger netting is actually very expensive indeed. The best product available is actually made in the UK by Tornado fencing in Cumbria. Currently the best price we could find is @ £150 + VAT per roll covering just 50m each roll. That is also the cheapest we have been quoted for, so that is what we are installing.
The process involves digging a trench 450mm deep by 200mm wide. The fencing is then burried vertically 450 mm down with a horizontal pitch 200mm away from the property being protected. This is very labour intensive (even with a 360 digger), and therefore slows down the whole installation work and costs extra money.
On a physical point, it's the weight of the wire netting that is the biggest problem, each roll weighs 90 kilos. That takes some carrying, it's also hi-tensile and wants to roll its self back up like a huge spring. When a 90 kilo roll of metal comes zinging at you rolling its self up, be prepared to run, it's gonna really hurt if it hits you.
However once installed, I defy any badger to get through it. The wire effectively makes your farm a fortress. It just takes a long time to install and is quite an expensive thing to do. For us here at Wellground it's well worth the investment and we consider it a no-brainer.
We are expecting the fencing to continue for another 3 weeks before it's concluded. Then I am doing an article for Alpaca Magazine on how it was done. If anyone is considering the process, I can reccomend our contractor who works throughout the UK. His parents own an alpaca farm in Worcestershire and he is very sympathetic to our cause.
Hope that helps.