A fence is a freestanding structure designed to restrict or prevent movement across a boundary. It is generally distinguished from a wall by the lightness of its construction: a
wallis usually restricted to such barriers made from solid brick or concrete, blocking vision as well as passage (though the definitions overlap somewhat).
Fences are constructed for several purposes, including:
Agricultural fencing, to keep livestockin or predators out
Privacy fencing, to provide privacy
Temporary fencing, to provide safety and security, and to direct movement, wherever temporary access control is required, especially on building and construction sites
Perimeter fencing, to prevent trespassing or theft and/or to keep children and pets from wandering away.
*Decorative fencing, to enhance the appearance of a property, garden or other
*Boundary fencing, to demarcate a piece of
Various types of fencing include:
Chain link fencing, sometimes called "wire netting"
Concrete fence, easy to install and highly durable
Chicken wire, light wire mesh for keeping predators out and chickens or other small livestock in
Dry-stone wallor rock fence, often agricultural
Ha-ha(or sunken fence)
Hedgerows of intertwined, living shrubs (constructed by hedge laying)
High tensilesmooth wire
Hurdlefencing, made from moveable sections
Leitnerfencing, made from wiggly sections.
* Live fencing is the use of live woody species for fences.
Pet fenceUnderground Fence for pet containment
Picket fences, generally a waist-high, painted, partially decorative fence
Roundpole fences, similar to post and rail fencing but more closely spaced rails, typical of Scandinaviaand other areas rich in raw timber.
* Slate fence, a type of
palisademade of vertical slabs of slate wired together. Commonly used in parts of Wales.
Split-rail fences made of timber, often laid in a zig-zagpattern, particularly in newly-settled parts of the United Statesand Canada
* Turf mounds in semiarid grasslands such as the western United States or Russian steppes`
* Wattle fencing, of split branches woven between stakes, or of moveable wattle
* Wood-panel fencing
* Woven wire fencing, many designs, from fine
Chicken wireto heavy mesh "sheep fence" or "ring fence"
* Wrought iron fencing, made from tube steel, also known as ornamental iron.
Alternatives to fencing are a hedge or a
ditch(sometimes filled with water, forming a moat).
A balustrade or railing is a kind of fence to prevent people from falling over the edge, for example, on a
balcony, stairway(see railing system), roof, bridge, or elsewhere near a body of water, places where people stand or walk and the terrain goes steeply down, and so on.
Requirement of use
The following types of areas or facilities often have to be fenced in:
*facilities with open high-voltage equipment (transformer stations,
mast radiators). Transformer stations are usually surrounded with barbed-wire fences. Around mast radiators, wooden fences are used to avoid the problem of eddy currents.
*railway lines (in the United Kingdom)
*fixed machinery with dangerous mobile parts (for example at merry go rounds on entertainment parks)
*explosive factories and quarry stores
*most industrial plants
*zoos and wildlife parks
*Pastures containing male breeding animals, notably
bulls and stallions.
*open-air areas that charge an entry fee
*domestic swimming and spa pools
Fences can be the source of bitter arguments between neighbours, and there are often special laws to deal with these problems. Common disagreements include what kind of fence is required, what kind of repairs are needed, and how to share the costs.
In some legislatures the standard height of a fence is limited, and to exceed it a special permit is required.
Servitudes are legal arrangements of land use arising out of private agreements. Under the
feudalsystem, most land in England was cultivated in common fields, where peasantswere allocated strips of arable landthat were used to support the needs of the local village or manor. By the sixteenth centurythe growth of population and prosperity provided incentives for landowners to use their land in more profitable ways, dispossessing the peasantry. Common fields were aggregated and enclosed by large and enterprising farmers -- either through negotiation among one another or by lease from the landlord -- to maximize the productivity of the available land and contain livestock. Fences redefined the means by which land is used, resulting in the modern law of servitudes. [Jesse Dukeminer et al., Property, pp. 668-70 (6th ed. 2006)] In the United States, the earliest settlers claimed land by simply fencing it in. Later, as the American government formed, unsettled land became technically owned by the government and programs to register land ownership developed, usually making raw land available for low prices or for free, if the owner improved the property, including the construction of fences. However, the remaining vast tracts of unsettled land were often used as a commons, or, in the American west, "open range." As degradation of habitatdeveloped due to overgrazing and a tragedy of the commonssituation arose, common areas began to either be allocated to individual landowners via mechanisms such as the Homestead Actand Desert Land Actand fenced in, or, if kept in public hands, leased to individual users for limited purposes, with fences built to separate tracts of public and private land.
Eastern European communist countries
In Eastern European former communist countries, such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and the former Soviet Union, fences (starting the 1950s until late 1980s) were deprecated and removed, in a move against "private property".Fact|Does not seem to match personal observations, in the USSR at least. The Soviets of the 1970-80s loved fences as much as anyone else, whether around public property or around private houses, garden lots, or graves|date=January 2008
Where a fence forms an ownership boundary, it is normal for the fence owner to put the fence cladding on their neighbour's side, with the posts on their own side. Where a fence divides two adjacent plots, title
deeds for the properties often show who owns the fence.
Where a fence or hedge has an adjacent ditch, the ditch is normally in the same ownership as the hedge or fence, with the ownership boundary being the edge of the ditch furthest from the fence or hedge [ [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199899/ldjudgmt/jd990429/alan.htm Lawrence J. in "Vowles v. Miller" (1810) 3 Taunt. 137, 138, quoted in "Alan Wibberley Building Limited v. Insley", House of Lords Judgement (1999)] ] . The principle of the rule is that an owner digging a boundary ditch will normally dig it up to the very edge of their land, and must then pile the spoil on their own side of the ditch to avoid
trespassing on their neighbour. They may then erect a fence or hedge on the spoil, leaving the ditch on its far side. Exceptions often occur, for example where a plot of land derives from subdivision of a larger one along the centre line of a previously existing ditch or other feature.
On private land in the
United Kingdom, it is the landowner's responsibility to fence their livestockin. Conversely, for common land, it is the surrounding landowners' responsibility to fence the common's livestock out.
Distinctly different land ownership and fencing patterns arose in the eastern and western
United States. Original fence laws on the east coast were based on the British common lawsystem, and rapidly increasing population quickly resulted in laws requiring livestock to be fenced in. In the west, land ownership patterns and policies reflected a strong influence of Spanish law and tradition, plus the vast land area involved made extensive fencing impractical until mandated by a growing population and conflicts between landowners. The "open range" tradition of requiring landowners to fence out unwanted livestock was dominant in most of the rural west until very late in the 20th century, and even today, a few isolated regions of the west still have open range statutes on the books. Today, across the nation, each state is free to develop its own laws regarding fences, but in most cases for both rural and urban property owners, the laws are designed to require adjacent landowners to share the responsibility for maintaining a common boundary fenceline, and the fence is generally constructed on the surveyed property line as precisely as possible.
"Good fences make good neighbors." -
Robert Frost(ironically, in the poem "Mending Wall").
"A good neighbour is a fellow who smiles at you over the back fence, but doesn't climb over it." -
"There is something about jumping a horse over a fence, something that makes you feel good. Perhaps it's the risk, the gamble. In any event it's a thing I need." -
"Fear is the highest fence." -
"What have they done to the earth?/ What have they done to our fair sister?/ Ravaged and plundered/ and ripped her/ and bit her/ stuck her with knives/ in the side of the dawn/ and tied her with fences/ and dragged her down." -
Jim Morrison, of The Doors
Don't Fence Me In (song)" - Cole Porter
United States–Mexico barrier
* Encyclopedia Britannica (1982). Vol IV, "Fence".
* Elizabeth Agate: [http://handbooks.btcv.org.uk/handbooks/index/book/109 "Fencing"] , British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, ISBN 094675229X
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