Wood fence

Photo: cloturesentinelle.com

The installation of a fence is the answer to a necessity of securing a home, a commercial building or perhaps a road.  Nevertheless, the need to fence-in is accompanied more and more frequently by an at least equal desire to preserve the environment.  Indeed, a large number of citizens are (finally) being conscientious that their quality of life depends in large part on respecting the environment and that from now on the equipment involved must combine functionality and ecological imperatives.  The fence, in its function of delimiting a landscape, fragments the latter and participates in the regression of biodiversity.  Nonetheless, there exists the means to alleviate the effects, through specific adjustments.

Natural Fences

Weave fencing

Photo: burwashwonderwood.com

Natural fences – thorny or rustic hedges, for example – offer an important habitat for fauna and serve as biological corridors.  On the other hand, they don’t give the same guarantees as artificial ones.  It is now possible to associate them with environmental protection, by limiting firstly the impact of installation, in a selective choice of the materials and in the upkeep that they require.  It is important to know that fences play an important role nevertheless for the small fauna of our neighborhoods.  Indeed, they serve as a filter for certain species and as ecological niches in substitution for animals that lost their natural habitat.  Certain modifications to fences, whether they are made of wood, chain-link or iron, facilitate the saving of fauna and in this way respect the environment.

Fence-in While Protecting Animals

Several possibilities are available to lessen the barrier that can arise from this situation.  An opening of varying size at its base notably favors the passage of hares, while not losing sight, however, of the fact that such an opening can become a potential access point for stray dogs.  Placing a ladder on each side is ideal for the passage of foxes for example, on the condition that it is verified that the ladder can stand up to the weight of the animal but not that of a human being.  The functionality would be, in this case, totally inadequate.  One can otherwise cover the ladders with ivy, and thus increase the ecological potential of the modification.

Vegetating Fences 

The solution of vegetating fences combines three important criteria: the security is not put in question because it remains, but covered in vegetation the ladder forms a garden or a vertical ecosystem, allowing, additionally, the creation of a landscape in correlation with the environment.  It becomes then an object of decoration, but not only.  It also fulfills a role as a refuge or a feeder for birds and mammals, and establishes a micro-climate, improving the quality of the air, among other things.  It is thus possible today to fence-in our homes without closing ourselves off to the world that surrounds us.