Being Sustainable matters

Sustainable eco Fencing - Explore our top tips

We examine why choosing sustainable eco fencing is both good for you and the environment and discuss some of the areas for consideration when choosing a fence or gate.

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    Here you will find Frequently Asked Questions about Jacksons and our products including About our Timber, Installation and Jakcure Treatment. You will also find an A-Z Fencing dictionary which we have created to help you understand all fencing terms that may be used on our site and by fencing contractors or Approved Installers.

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Why should we choose sustainable eco fencing?

Timber is a hugely important organic construction material, recognised for its versatility and durability. It is widely used across a range of different applications, from residential garden boundaries to commercial premises, and as such it is necessary to consider how responsibly we use this resource to ensure its longevity. Not all timber is the same, so it makes sense to know more about what you’re buying before you make that purchase commitment.

This blog will discuss the things you should look for when choosing a fence, such as recognised certification programmes and the timber treatment process. Even if you choose fencing which has been certified as using sustainable wood, if the quality of the materials used is substandard, then this is counterproductive and you may end up having to replace your fence frequently. Therefore using more wood anyway, regardless of whether it’s from a sustainable source.

Products marked as certified to either of those programmes can prove that the timber has been checked at every stage of processing and come with the reassurance of a complete chain of custody certification. These programmes are great for implementing sustainable forest management practices around the world, the protection of endangered species, reducing the effects of climate change, and longevity of forests for future generations.

Firstly, the right species of timber for the purpose should be selected before the all important preservative treatment, design and construction process. If all these elements are right first then the FSC or PEFC certification has a more meaningful context as the best use has been made of the timber, and a product that provides a long life ultimately means less deforestation.

Installation and replacement costs

A large part of the cost is installation, whether it’s to replace or install a new fence or gate, so it helps to have a long guarantee to minimise these costs, and also the effect on the environment.

Softwood 

  • Low cost - 75-80% of the world’s timber is softwood and readily available.
  • Faster growing with a low footprint - softwood species are faster growing than hardwoods meaning the that the same area of land produces more usable timber.
  • Easier to manufacture - softwood timber species like pine, cedar, larch and spruce are easier to machine and manipulate so require less intensive and expensive manufacturing processes.
  • Cost comparison - less expensive than hardwood, even if FSC or PEFC certified. Softwood when pressure treated with the correct preservatives is safe to humans, animals and plants.
  • It is typically safer than composite products such as plywood, MDF and particle board, that often contain resins, and safer than some hardwoods that can cause irritation or allergic reactions.

Hardwood 

  • Highly resistant to decay - and naturally resistant to rot.
  • Very durable - this species of timber is resistant to tension and rotting. If damaged they can be restored.
  • Recyclable - often used as fuel or for wood chippings.

non-timber fencing options

what are the Other options?

Over recent years, metal and composite materials have emerged as fencing and gate materials in Europe, ranging from aluminium to recycled plastics.

Colour coated aluminium or steel fence panels can lend a contemporary feel to a space and are both strong and durable. However, they tend to rely on the quality of their coatings to provide resistance to oxidisation or rust and are typically, significantly more expensive than timber as they are energy intensive and costly to manufacture.

If you’re looking for materials with low environmental impact, vinyl (PVC or polyvinyl chloride) has to be discounted as the manufacturing process creates harmful dioxins and the material itself suffers from leaching toxic chemical stabilizers when in ground.

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