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Stock Fence


You must erect a fence which will be fit for purpose, that is will form a stock-proof barrier.

For conventional stock fencing, there must be a minimum of 6 line wires or 2 line wires and woven wire netting. Posts must be placed at intervals of no more than 3.5 metre centres. For a high tensile pattern fence, the same requirements apply to the number of line wires or netting but posts may be placed at up to 12 metre centres (6 metre spacing if cattle are present).

You should not use barbed wire as a separate line wire where fallow deer are present.

Minimum Woodwork Sizes for fencing against sheep and cattle:

Length (metre)Top Diameter (centimetre)
Strainer/end posts2.310 - 13
Struts2.08 - 10
Stakes1.78 - 10

When erecting a fence, you must install gates where these are necessary to allow any appropriate management activities or husbandry operations. Gates for non-vehicular access must be installed or gaps provided or, as a last resort, stiles installed, in sufficient numbers and at suitable locations to allow people to exercise their right of responsible access.

Any water-gates must be designed to keep watercourses stockproof, whatever the level of the water.

You can use electric fences. Warning notices must be displayed on all electric fences and conventional fences carrying bare lead electric wires. These should be placed at access points and suitable intervals of 50 to 100 metres along the length of the fence-line. Barbed wires must not be used in electrified fences.

This capital payment does not cover the cost of any gates (except water gates) or stiles. These capital items are covered separately.

Where you propose to renew or restore a fence that forms the boundary between your land and that of your neighbour, the payment will be in proportion to your level of responsibility; that is, if you and your neighbour are equally responsible for maintaining a fence, you will be entitled to payment on half the length of fence. You will be entitled to claim full payment for any associated items such as gates, marking to reduce bird collision, rabbit netting or upgrading the fence to a deer fence, where that investment is necessary to deliver your selected regional priority.

If you have shared responsibility for the fence, a Shared Boundary Agreement form must be completed and submitted with your application. Please note that you will be responsible for ensuring that the capital works are completed to the required specification and are fit for purpose.