Bishopstone Cliffs is a 167-acre Local Nature Reserve in Reculver on the eastern outskirts of Herne Bay, Kent. The location is popular with both tourists and locals since it offers beautiful views of the sea and plenty of activities such as strolling, birdwatching, and picnicking. There are a number of car parks near the entrance to the woodland, which is free to enter.
Canterbury City Council developed a Coastal Park Management Plan in 2013, which examines how the council, along with the Kent Wildlife Trust, can continue to manage the region to increase biological diversity, preserve the site and create a high-quality habitat. The coastal park, which includes Bishopstone Glen, was given a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Field status and involved a ten-year plan.
The natural issue
As a natural site largely composed of London Clay, it has seen a few landslips that destroyed footpaths and tore fencing apart as the earth fell. Since 1953, the land has had a history of instability and a lot of work has been done since then to improve the cliff and build sea defences. The area, which is managed by Canterbury City Council and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), required a fencing solution to keep visitors and vehicles out while allowing wildlife and plants to thrive. Since the council places a high priority on safety, fencing encourages people to stay on the paths and remain safe from any falling earth.
To create a safe, secure, and long-lasting boundary fencing solution, more than 300m of Jacksons’ Barbican vertical bar fencing was installed around the area. With welded pale-through-rail construction, there are no bolts or pales that can be removed in order to allow access. The fencing’s tubular pales, unlike mesh, offer greater protection against cutting and vandalism while still maintaining the same level of visibility through to the woodland to preserve views. A robust, anti-vandal fencing solution is provided by connecting panels to posts with hidden connectors.
The design of the fence is sleek and smart, demonstrating that in areas where security fencing is necessary, it may blend in with the surroundings rather than being an eyesore.
Importantly, vertical bar fencing allows wildlife to freely move between pales, unlike mesh. For animals like hedgehogs, whose survival depends on their ability to move about in search of food and mates, this is crucial.
Installing this form of fencing with a 25-year guarantee satisfies the plan’s sustainability standards by reducing the amount of outdated fencing that ends up in landfills. Additionally, it offers a low-maintenance solution that is perfect for natural environments to prevent disturbances to the ground, plants and wildlife during repairs and replacements, which are more common with low-quality fencing.
The fencing was polyester powder coated in black with a special marine coating. This is highly recommended where fencing and gates are located within 500m of the sea to preserve and protect them from the corrosive atmospheres.
Peter Jackson, Jacksons Fencing Managing Director, commented: “We were pleased to be involved in this crucial project. Working on projects where we know our products will improve the local area, ensure it is safe and secure for all those to enjoy, whilst also improving the natural environment and upholding sustainability credentials, is hugely rewarding.”
He continued: “We are so confident in our products, that the vertical bar fencing specified for this project comes with a 25-year guarantee. We hope this gives Canterbury City Council and Kent Wildlife Trust peace of mind that this investment is hugely worthwhile and guaranteed to withstand the test of time. Moreover, we hope that wildlife conservation will improve, and the local residents can still enjoy the Local Nature Reserve for many years to come.”
To find out more about Jacksons Fencing involvement in this preservation project, click here.