Electric fencing

Electric fencing can be an effective and flexible solution for protection against deer browse after a coppicing operation. Although expensive, it may be funded under the English Woodland Grant Scheme, and reused following successful regeneration of seedlings and coppice stools.

The fence needs to account for the different species of deer in the area, with the heights of the strands of wire reflecting the species. A solar panel helps to maintain the battery where irregular visits are made, though as with all fences, regular maintenance checks are advisable, especially after windy weather which may cause branches to drop on the fence. Vegetation touching the bottom strands, or shorting against wooden fence posts are other examples of higher use of battery energy.

The system needs to be pretty powerful, since deer have a higher natural insulation than other domestic stock, and fence lines can be quite long. Nonetheless, it is worth considering because the regeneration results of fencing are so spectacular. Since ensuring the success of regeneration is one of the conditions of a coppice felling licence, it may be that some kind of fencing is necessary, especially if deer populations are high and can not be effectively controlled.

Contact Clive for advice on electric fencing and ensuring regeneration.