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Perimeter walls and the death of the hedge fence

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd January 2010 03:00 AM

When her closest neighbours started erecting a perimeter wall, Namayanja and her husband went into a panic.

BY Aidah Nanyonjo
When her closest neighbours started erecting a perimeter wall, Namayanja and her husband went into a panic.

They were the only family with a cedar hedge fence in the area.

Robberies had increased in the recent past but their home had never fallen prey to the thieves. Their neighbours had recently been robbed, probably the reason they were erecting a wall fence.
Namayanja then started nagging her husband about their security.

The nagging paid off and she now feels more secure behind a beautiful brick wall.

Initially, people used cedar to construct fences around their homes but increasing insecurity is killing the natural hedge fence.

Betty Mayanja of Plants for Africa says it was brought by the increasing need for security. “As the world grows more insecure, we also look for ways to protect ourselves,” she says.

Mayanja adds that it is the reason some people are erecting walls alike to those of fortresses to prevent potential intruders from jumping into the compound. The cedar fences cannot offer effective security because as the hedge grows, the lower part is open and intruders can pass through easily.

The safer option, therefore, is the wall fence. However, before you embark on building a heaven-high wall to keep you and your family safe, consult your local city council. Very high walls may contravene local planning regulations.

A well constructed perimeter wall looks attractive compared to cedar fences. As cedar trees grow, they fade and appear to be dying of age.

The branches dry, making the fence unattractive and easy to break through. But perimeter walls look nice, especially if built with some iron bars and climbers such as trellises.

“It is not about the height of the wall alone. When perimeter walls are combined with plants, it can add to your security,” Mayanja says.

She says trellises or any other climbing plants running along the top of a fence add style. They are flimsy, so a potential intruder would be less inclined to try to scale a perimeter wall with a trellis on top, for fear of being discovered.

Security can be further enhanced by cementing glass or placing nails onto the tops of the walls. However, you need to be careful if you decide to adopt any of these tactics. Poor workmanship may cause the glass to break off and injure passers-by and your family.

Some people choose to put barbed wire on top of external walls protecting their home. Whilst this is perfectly legal, you need to be aware of restrictions in relation to walls which border public rights of way.

Perimeter walls and the death of the hedge fence

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