Last September, I managed to get my contractor to cut the hedges in the inside of my fields, something that hadn’t been done for a few years due to the weather not being favourable during the cutting season.

Unfortunately, when the hedges were cut back, it became evident that in some fields there wasn’t much more than the hedge holding up the wire.

Coupled with a few fallen trees and bushes due to winter storms, it means I need to spend a few days fencing!

For the past three years, the only real fencing I’ve had to do was replacing posts in the mains electric fence, which I did with a crowbar and sledge.

Post driver

I do own a post driver, but I loaned it to a good friend of mine about four years ago when he was doing a grant fencing job and I never got it back.

When I said to him a couple of months ago that I would probably need it back this spring when the land dried up enough, he jokingly asked me how long did I want it for, at least I think he was joking!

As I said, most of my fields have a mains electric fence around the outside boundaries. A single strand, easy to put up and easy to maintain and a great job for controlling cattle.

But now that I am back grazing store lambs over the winter, the single strand is not quite adequate for this job!


Most of the farm is fairly sheep-proof, as any new fences erected in the past 20 years would have been sheep wire fences.

But if there are any weaknesses, sheep will soon find them, especially in the winter months when grass can be scarce and vegetation in the hedges can be sparse and we did have a couple of prison breaks over the past few months, thankfully we have good neighbours!

So, replacing a few posts in the mains fence is not going to get me away this year.

Thankfully, my father-in-law had already made a start cutting up some of the fallen trees for me and with the price of heating oil this year, a bit of hard wood burning will come in handy, no matter what Eamon Ryan thinks - maybe trees are ok, it’s just turf that’s the problem!

Inserting a bit of sheep wire here and join a bit of barb wire there and salvaging what ever you can from the undergrowth

Anyway, last Saturday, myself and my eldest daughter Gemma managed to make a start on what I like to call patching.

A job that you really need to do yourself because I don’t know how you’d pay someone to do it, it definitely wouldn’t be by the metre!

Inserting a bit of sheep wire here and join a bit of barb wire there and salvaging what ever you can from the undergrowth!

Save a few pounds

I had to have a chuckle to myself at one point on Saturday. My father was a great man for cutting whin bushes and pulling them into holes to keep in sheep, that and tying on pallets. Anything to save a few pounds.

I used to give out to him and tell him to go away and get someone to put up a new fence, which thankfully we often did.

However, under the current circumstances, I’m all about saving a few pounds myself and while I can’t see myself tying on pallets just yet, I’m definitely all about the make do and mend!