Over the course of a weekend a few of the garden staff started the first phase of an upgrade to Rosemoor’s car park. Our job was to erect fencing around a section of the perimeter of the car park, leaving walk-through gaps for easy access to the picnic tables on the grass. The new fencing will prevent cars from driving onto the surrounding lawn areas which ruins the edge and turns the grass into mud. Any sturdy fence can be used for this job but we chose wooden knee-high fencing, or bird mouth fencing, as it is solid, leaves a neat finish and isn’t so high as to block a view.
The first part of the project was to ensure that precise measurements were made so that the fence posts were the correct distances apart. We used a motorised earth auger to create neat holes for the posts to go in. An auger is a drilling device that, due to its rotating screw blade, is able to remove the earth that is being drilled. Despite this, one of us needed to be on hand with a small shovel to remove any excess soil. Some of the drilling on the edge of the road was tough in places as the ground was incredibly stony. Perseverance was key, however, as to avoid a wonky fence it was important to make sure that all of the holes were at the same level.
Earth auger with rotating blade
The motorised auger in action
The next stage of the job was to secure the fence posts in place. Again, it was necessary to ascertain the proper levels of each post; if the levels were incorrect the posts would not only look askew but the top rail would fail to fit securely in place. So, using a spirit level, the posts were kept straight and upright while backfilling the hole with the earth just drilled out. Backfilling with the stony clay subsoil, instead of using cement, means that the area around the post is more breathable and therefore less likely to cause rotting of the wood. In stages, the earth was rammed in place using a heavy compacting bar; the more compact the soil the more solid the fence. The finishing touch was to add metal straps which secure the top rails to the standing posts.
Metal straps to secure top rail to posts
The completed fencing
The upgrade to Rosemoor’s car park will be taking place in stages. In this first stage we erected approximately 100 posts and the next task will be to re-tarmac the area next year.