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Urgently needed advice on creating and erecting fencing /sound/wind barriers from branches/twigs etc  RSS feed

 
Diane Hunt
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Location: UK at present, but go between Australia & UK, & have Canuck roots!
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We have some rented and rather desperate (due to acousticophobia with car noise) retreat space in the coppiced chestnut woods of friends. Our intention is to learn/skillshare/organize small workshops centered on woods and life skills with others we know are interested at same time as retreating and helping support our friends who have the woods. This is the plan until we get something of our own or with/in a community.

We have realized though that a motorway is louder at night than we thought and intend to plant hedging/grow a living fence. Yet in the meantime we could urgently do with advice and especially vids on easy to create as well as erect fencing /sound barriers made from branches/twigs/undergrowth etc. We are in the UK btw. Any help would be hugely appreciated!!

 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1157
Location: northern northern california
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theres a lot to read here on related topics...i will post some links for you to read.
use the search feature to find more, theres a lot of threads here on this.

this is a good one:

building a dead hedge, & how it'll be magically (naturally) transformed into a hugelkultur hedgerow

some others:
Hedgerows for deer fencing

fedge

some neat variations and ideas, for using willow as a wall/fence/structure

living willow structure

some images: dead hedge

apparently in canada, according to one of my friends who knows a lot of canadian farmers, they regularly bulldoze their fields....and push a lot of earth/branches/brambles etc off to the edges pf their fields...then pile on top of that any other trimming for a dead hedge around the growing fields. that seems quite brilliant actually, simple enough if you have big earth movers....

 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I'm in Canada, and have only witnessed that once in my 50 years.  It was a really shoddily run farm in Newfoundland. Most of the top soil was piled with the rocks and trees.

Small farms in the east sometimes maintain a sort of hedgerow between fields. Rocks, stumps and other debris is dumped there. Firewood is harvested. Mr Collins, the guy in Newfoundland, had no previous farming experience. The enterprise was a colossal failure. He only did this once, not annually.
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1157
Location: northern northern california
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well perhaps its not as common as i was told. my landmate grew up there and her family still lives there and has large farms, and does this. she was saying it was commonly done....where ever she is from.

i still think its a great idea. especially if you made huge earth "fence" mounds around the entire perimeter of your main gardens...and then piled a lot of wood/brambles and made the dead hedge on top of the mounds.
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Wind and sound breaks really need two different approaches.

Wind bounces off hard surfaces and rapidly reforms with very little slowing of the windspeed. Earth banks might make a small difference immediately down wind of them but less the you would intuitively expect/hope for. Wind breaks are best thought of as wind filters. You want a dense and thick barrier of twigs and leaves that the air can penetrate, pass through and drop energy in... emerging more slowly on the other side.

Sound breaks on the other hand are better made of hard reflective surfaces - an earthen bank at an angle of 45 degrees will bounce sound straight upwards and away from the ground. Sheltered behind this bank noise levels are significantly less. This is why motorway landscaping in the UK often has steep banks either side to reflect road noise up and away from residential areas. On the other hand sound will pass pretty much unhindered through "soft" barriers like hedges and trees - there will be some reduction in intensity but not massive.

We experience both of these effects where we are - we have a motorway 1km away over open fields which we can hear clearly, but only from the place where there is a gap in the earth banks. We have an excellent screening of leylandii at the end of the garden. Sheltered behind these there is almost no wind, but the sound still carries through (albeit lessened).
 
Marion Kaye
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Location: Essex, UK
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Sounds like you need 'Cornish hedges', but that's going to take a while if you don't have earth moving equipment! For native hedging I recommend www.hedgesdirect.co.uk

For willows, including fedges, West Wales willow are great.

I'm not sure what kind of set-up you are aiming for but you might find Orchard Barn interesting. Co-incidentally, they are having a brashwood day week-end after next.
 
Marion Kaye
Posts: 53
Location: Essex, UK
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Forgot to suggest maybe straw bales might make a fast sound barrier. I'm not sure how good they would be 'in the open air' but I know they make for very quiet buildings.
 
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