New livestock fencing for Denbies Hillside

A grant of £98,600 has been awarded to the National Trust at Denbies Hillside to fund the purchase and installation of much-needed new stock fencing.

Viridor Credits Environmental Company is an independent, not-for-profit organisation which provides funding for community, heritage and biodiversity projects around the UK through the Landfill Communities Fund and Scottish Landfill Communities Fund. We’ve been lucky enough to work with them on this exciting project at Denbies Hillside to install new fencing at this Site of Special Scientific Interest.

One hundred year old fencing

Much of the old 'canister fencing' at Denbies Hillside was well over one hundred years old. We’d relied upon it for years to fence in sheep and belted Galloway cattle, essential to help us to maintain this chalk grassland site. The fencing was failing in places and livestock would often escape.

We decided to keep the old steel fencing posts in place and to replace the wire linking them with Clipex fencing. This is guaranteed for 40 years and is ideal for steep, remote landscapes given its longevity as it takes away the constant need to replace treated softwood and chestnut fence posts.

How Denbies Hillside is thriving

Through our ongoing scrub management and livestock grazing, rabbit numbers have declined and we are seeing lots of long grass growth due to this summer's plentiful rainfall – we are working hard to keep on top of it all so that we have a mosaic of both long and short sward species.

A recent botanical survey of Denbies Hillside recorded 14 species of orchids. The hill is home to many species of butterflies too which thrive along the south-facing slope: Adonis blue, chalkhill blue and silver spotted skipper are just a few of the butterfly species to do well here.