Beechenhurst Visitor Centre

Beechenhurst Visitor Centre

Challenge

Beechenhurst is a prime visitor attraction in the Forest of Dean with 300,000 visitors a year. Formerly the site of the Speech House Colliery, which closed in the early 1900s, Beechenhurst was transformed into a picnic site to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Forestry Commission.

Wild boars are attracted to the large picnic areas at the site, an issue that posed a problem for the Forestry Commission. They therefore needed fencing that:

    • Would contain the Wild boar
    • Is in keeping with the forest
    • Is suitable for the difficult ground conditions, which comprise uneven parts, small stretches and banks

Approach

Unpeeled chestnut posts were used as part of this project as they provided more of an authentic result. A considerable amount of groundwork was also involved due to the condition of the ground. Inter posts, measuring 9ft long x up to 8″ in diameter, plus 12″ straining posts were therefore used.

Due to the ground conditions, digging would have damaged even more of the fragile surface conditions, hence cranks were used to fold out the netting and back fill with soil. Approximately 2,000 metres of Torus 15/158/8 – cranked at line 4 was used. Torus knot is secure enough for Wild boar, yet hinges made it easy to turn out. A hinge was also incorporated in the bottom section to prevent the Wild boar from digging underneath the fence.

Result

We overcame the challenges provided by the groundwork to provide the Forestry Commission with a clear solution that is in keeping with the natural environment. Once established growth develops around the fence, it will further blend into the surroundings, especially coupled with the approach of using aesthetically pleasing posts.

Trevor Jones, a contracted fencer for the Forestry Commission, said: “This superb net will withstand a lot of pressure. As the Wild boar have been used to invading the area it was imperative the fencing was strong enough to withhold them, as they historically knew where food could be found.”

 

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