04 Jan 2016

The outpouring of snow in that last ten years in various part of United States have been recording setting in certain places. These often come with loss of properties and life at times. Snow and ice removal and control costs over $2 billion annually in the US. Blowing and drifting snow causes impaired road conditions, reduced visibility, increased number of accidents and injuries, reduced road width, and increased need for plowing and deicing materials.

Although the idea of snow fencing is not necessarily a new one, but it’s not something as rampant as security fencing or other form of fencing. In actual sense, snow fences can save lives and reduce maintenance costs. Studies published by Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) of National Research Council in 1991 showed that Mechanical snow removal costs about 100 times more than trapping snow with fences.

On the other hand, to be effective, snow fences need to be designed and placed properly. Many studies have shown the old-fashioned fence of 4-ft. (1.4-m) picket fence to be an ineffective snow collector. These old fashioned designed are often placed in contact with the ground.

According to SHRP, to be very effective and economical, modern snow fence need only have a single row of tall fences instead of the multiple rows of shorter fences common with the old fashioned designs. Properly designed and placed, taller fences are dramatically more effective than the traditional low picket fence. New lightweight plastics now allow the construction of portable fences up to 8 ft. (2.4 m) tall. In terms of porosity, a modern snow fence with a porosity of 40% to 50% will likely be better.

Most of the effectiveness of snow fencing are in the designing. There is tendency for a snow fence projects to fail if the fences are improperly designed or placed. One common mistake identified in the SHRP report is the failure to design the fence for the capacity of snow it needs to hold over the season.

It is also important not to place the fence too close to the road as this could actually make snowdrift problems worse. Fences should be set back at least 35H from the road shoulder. The snow fences should be extended beyond protection limits to an angle of 300 on either side of the prevailing wind direction.

One of the most important work that has been done in encouraging the use of snow fencing is the Snow Fence Guide developed by SHRP. This guide cover everything maintenance personnel need to know in order to design and locate snow fences correctly. A free copy of the guide is available in the link below.


22 Sep 2014

Police and ambulance crews attended a dispute in Adlington, Lancashire earlier this month when a row about a garden fence got out of control. 

During the dispute grandmother Christine Clewlow fell to the ground whilst trying to stop builders removing a fence panel.  The 54 year-old claims to have been knocked unconscious during the incident. 

The situation arose after builders from Bellway Homes came to take the fence down in the latest round of an ongoing boundary dispute. 

Mrs Clewlow, who has a video of the incident, explained: "I was holding on to fence panels in a corner.  One of the workmen is on stepladders over the fence with an electric screwdriver trying to unscrew the panels from the post, leaning right over. 

"There's another on the other side trying to prise panels away.  They were doing something underneath as well.  Between myself, my partner and the next door neighbour, we were trying to keep the fence together.

"The next minute, one of the panels shoots back. Something comes up from underneath and I went backwards onto concrete base panels."

Police say no crime was committed and that Mrs Clewlow's injuries were "not as a result of an assualt."  A spokeswoman for Lancashire Police added: "It's an ongoing civil matter and there will be no police investigation."

Meanwhile North West Ambulance Service have confirmed that an ambulance was sent to Mayfield Avenue, where the incident took place, on that day.

The dispute arose while Grove Farm estate, a Bellway Homes development, was being built.   Residents have sought legal advice:

"We back onto open farmland which is now a Bellway estate.  Nobody had fencing at the end of their garden, it was a natural drainage ditch which belongs to the properties.  Over the years people have put fences up, some had hedges, other had a few trees." Mrs Clewlow explained. 

Meanwhile Chlorley Council have asked Bellway to work with residents to resolve the dispute after they sent officers to the site last September to investigate complaints of a land collapse.  

22 Sep 2014

Five schoolboys from Nottingham have made a bid for freedom using age-old tunnelling techniques!

The boys, from Djanogly City Academy, used cutlery to try and dig their way under the 12-foot-high spike-topped metal fence surrounding the Academy. 

Andy Roach, Assistant Head, has since written to staff saying: "Estates have filled in the hole and put a metal bar across the bottom of the fence in that area.  However, can staff on duty on the back field please keep an eye on them digging any more holes for this purpose in other areas along the fence."

The email from Mr Roach went on to say: "a lot of cutlery was found in the area, presumably stolen from the canteen to aid their digging, so if staff on duty can keep an eye on students smuggling cutlery out of the canteen..."

The school, which is in special measures after Ofsted found it to be 'inadequate', is trying to take a tough stance on truancy and operates a 'swipe-in' system, strictly prohibiting under-16s from leaving the premises without permission during the school day. 

Tracey Phillipson, whose daughter is in Year 9 at the school, said: "The fencing with security signs all over it does make it look a bit more like a prison than a school and I guess to some pupils that’s a challenge."

Jamila Khaliq, whose home backs onto the school's playing fields, said: "I can’t believe they would even try such a thing.  Since they put in the new fencing, we have all thought it was impossible for any pupil to get out." 

Meanwhile, one former pupil described the school as "security mad", saying that the school had been known to use a marked car to patrol the area looking for truants.

He added: "It would not be easy to dig a hole under that fence with a spade let alone a spoon."

Elaine Crookes, Acting Headteacher at Djanogly City Academy, confirmed that: "five pupils tried to leave the school at lunchtime by getting below the fence on the fields at our Gregory Boulevard site."

Ms Crookes added: "We have spoken to the students concerned, and taken action to repair the hole.  That part of the fence has also been reinforced.  Our staff are supervising that area to ensure our students stay safe and in school.