There are two main benefits for installing a barbed wire fence as opposed to other types of fencing – security and the fact that it looks so scary that it deters most burglars and vandals. Intruders have good reason to be scared of a barbed wire fence because it is dangerous whether they are trying to cut through it or get over it. If they become entangled in it the sharp barbs can penetrate and cut the skin so as a general rule professional thieves avoid it.
Barbed wire is the fencing of choice for prisons because it is as effective at keeping people in as it is for keeping them out. However its use is best served around the perimeters of commercial premises, factories, prisons and other sites where high security is necessary.
A barbed wire fence is not ideal for residential property
It is not best suited for fencing around residential houses because although homeowners might feel incredibly secure, they could easily be prosecuted under the Occupiers Liability Act should a child try to breach the fence to a retrieve a football and become injured in the process.
In addition, if your property is adjacent to a public highway or footpath there are restrictions on injurious toppings under the Highways Act 1980 (Section 164). If the local authority believes that your fence is too low and/or could cause injury to passers-by it has the ability to force you to remove the barbed wire.
In law the expression “barbed wire” includes any fence topping that has jagged projections or spikes and it is likely that any barbed wire fence less than 2.4 metres high will be seen as a “nuisance” (something likely to cause harm or injury to animals or people) by the highway authorities.
Barbed wire fencing in farming
Barbed wire fencing is extensively used in farming both to contain cattle and keep unwelcome intruders out but it’s not recommended for sheep farming. DEFRA has certain rules in relation to the use of this fencing to secure horses in that the barbed wire fence must be separated by “a secure guard fence or electric tape.” If you intend to use barbed wire around your riding stables, equestrian centre or farm it’s always wise to download DEFRA’s Livery Yard Guidance Booklet before purchasing fencing.
Fencing is manufactured in a diverse range of materials and each type serves a practical function. The reason you require fencing will usually define the type you need and obviously you’ll have a budget. If in doubt, contact us and we’ll be happy to share our expert knowledge in all kinds of fencing.