OCTOPOST FENCING PROJECT with the Saw Doctors Forestry LTD
Phase 1 Completed
Thanks to: J.A & F Smith Animal Charity Fund, France-Hayhurst Charitable Foundation & Pets at Home.
Helping us to continue to build sustainable fencing that will last a lifetime and revolutionise HAPPA’s Fence Line.
Shores Hey Farm sits on an 80 acre site nestled in the Lancashire hills and forms part of the beautiful Thursden Valley. The grazing land is very varied and we have approximately 13 separate paddocks sectioned off into several grazing areas, comprising of a mix of grasses to suit the needs of a diverse range of equines. The existing fencing is an ongoing project that constantly needs maintenance and replacements.
We are very grateful to our initial sponsors J.A & F Smith Animal Charity Fund, France-Hayhurst Charitable Foundation & Pets at Home, who have generously supported the first phase of fencing, to allow us to complete paddocks one, two and three.
There are lots of fencing options available and each type of fencing has its own pros and cons, from cost, to safety, to the ease of installation. The priority at HAPPA is safety first for the horses, along with its sustainability and longevity aspects, the need for it to stand the test of time, be robust and ‘cob proof’. We have a large number of hairy cobs that choose to constantly rub on the fence line, which can easily weaken and damage its structure.
The ideal fencing for horses and our first choice at HAPPA is post and rail, this in our opinion is the safest option. Post and rail fencing consists of wooden rails nailed onto wooden fence posts. It is also visually appealing, blending in with the natural landscape. It creates a solid barrier between fields and the surrounding area. Wooden rail fencing is also expensive and requires regular ongoing maintenance. The existing post and rail fence at HAPPA is approximately eight years old and is now failing in many places. The posts are rotting at ground level and many of the rails are deteriorating and need replacing.
HAPPA have metres and metres of fence line that needs to be replaced preferably with a sustainable option. Its mammoth fence line combined stretches over thousands of metres. Having successfully received funding to complete project 1, replacing a 350 metre adjoining fence line, with two 100 metre, triple rail divider fence lines, to separate paddocks one, two and three. The funding granted to us, followed by in-store fundraising of our partnered Clitheroe Pets at Home store enabled stage 1 to be completed.
We sourced the best product on the market, with the objective of not having to replace the fence again in another eight years time. There is an old saying and it is very true, that ‘if you buy cheap, you buy twice’ and all things considered when you factor in the labour costs of installing a stock fence, it pays to use the best quality product money can buy.
Our funders were keen to support the project on its sustainability elements and the project was sold on the type of materials chosen. Octopost fencing posts are manufactured from redwood timber, grown in Sweden in or near the Arctic Circle, the extreme cold conditions provides a very slow growth, giving added strength and density.
Once the wood is cut, it is kiln dried to ensure all the moisture is removed, it is then pointed and octagonal shaped to differentiate its unique properties and then heat pressure treated with creosote. OCTAPOST offer a 25 year guarantee, but the posts have a life expectancy of 30-40 years. The timber grown is PFSC certified which means that the forest is guaranteed to be replanted.
A local company Saw Doctors Forestry Ltd are one of the few people in the UK that import the posts and have revolutionised the fencing market using a creosoted fencing solution that is stronger and faster to install and is expected to outlast any other product on the market.
Saw Doctors completed the job in less than one week and have done an excellent job, they are perfectionists and pride themselves on attention to detail. We chose a mix of triple rails for the dividing and outer fences in our flat paddocks close to the Centre. A high tensile horse mesh with a top Octopost rail, built with extra strainers to ensure its stability and longevity, has been chosen as a division fence along the larger areas of land, which stretches across a massive acreage.
The fence is also protected by a double strand of electric fencing on the dividing fence lines and a top strand of electric on the outer. This will ensure that the horses won’t rub or scratch on the fence and weaken its structure, the creosote posts are also chew resistant as a lot of horses that don’t otherwise ‘crib’ like to have a nibble on new wood.
The sustainable fencing is not only safe and secure for our equines at Shores Hey Farm, it is an integral part of kit that is vital to each and every horse that benefits from completing its Rehabilitation Journey at HAPPA. Equines are trickle feeders and are designed to graze for 16 hours a day, this project enables them to have the benefit of safe turnout, allowing them to socialise and interact with each other in a safe environment, which is crucial.
We have starvation paddocks to permit those that are ‘fat on fresh air’ and suffer from laminitis the opportunity to graze on a restricted area. Laminitis is a painful inflammatory condition in horses, leading to separation of the laminae within the hoof wall and can be fatal, one of the causes is being overweight and indulging in lush grazing. Equines need to forage in a restricted area and maintaining a healthy body weight is so important.
Paddock 7 is one of the areas where we can control the intake of grass and ensure that our ponies have the benefit of turnout, whilst staying trim and healthy. The paddock fence line is approximately 350 metres in total and is in dire need of replacement. We have patched and repaired over the past few years and its now in a desperate state of replacement. Each metre of fencing costs between £25 – £35 dependent upon the choice of materials used.
Please consider donating to the project as every pound matters. Help us to continue to deliver a fantastic Rehabilitation Programme to all our equines in a safe and caring environment.
Phase 2 will help us to build fences to prevent our ponies from becoming obese. Prevention is better than cure in most cases of laminitis and we work hard to maintain a restricted diet. Help us to raise enough funds to complete Paddock 7 and keep our ponies nice and trim.
Text HAPPAFENCING to 70085 to donate £5
Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message