Consultation on electric fencing in Mitcham Community Orchard and gardens

(2 Posts)
mitchamorchard Mon 22-Aug-16 02:54:10

Dear all
We're seeking your views on the issue of electric anti-fox poultry netting in Mitcham Community Orchard and Gardens, which aims to bring a taste of the countryside to Mitcham for use by the whole community. ( Some of you no doubt came to the first Summer Fete on Sun 31 July. The project has been developing since March last year and we currently have free range chickens in the Orchard, protected from foxes by electrified poultry netting. These has been a huge hit, not only with children, but we're surprised how may adults have not seen a live chicken before. However, the chickens have to be protected from foxes during daylight hours (they go into a secure area at night) and this necessitates anti-fox electric fencing. This may well have been seen by many of you rambling in the countryside, but we're aware that many townsfolk may not be familiar with electric fencing.
Until now, during the major building phases and open days, the fence has been turned off, or the chickens locked away, but our aim is to have the Orchard open and unsupervised during daylight hours. With this in mind, how do we warn parents to keep their children away from the has (smallish A5) signs on it at intervals, but a toddler cannot read. We do not wish to be the source of complaints if an adult does not recognise this potential hazard. Note that the fence will cause no harm, but I'm sure it would cause crying in an infant.
So we're seeking initial consultation from parents about ideas. Bear in mind that the Orchard is run entirely by volunteers and we will not be able to devote additional man hour resources or space.
If you feel that this aspect is a no go, then of course we will not be able to offer free access to the site, contrary to our aims.
You can also contact us by email at
This is an issue of pragmatism
best regards
Mitcham Orchard

Willemdefoeismine Mon 22-Aug-16 08:52:42

What about visual (highways style) signs, such as one showing a child about to touch the fencing with big cross thro'?

Or you have some type of caveat to warn families about the electric fencing to say 'entry at your/their discretion' and to say that they are responsible for ensuring their children don't touch.

Have you been in touch with Merton Council (their Health & Safety bods) about this - presumably they could advise?

Just trying to think about what type of signs Deen City Farm has up - there are quite a few about ensuring people wash hands thoroughly before leaving (and possibly others about not touching some of the animals?) but ultimately responsibility does rest with the 'visitors' to do as recommended.

The Orchard and Gardens sound a lovely idea - must visit soon.

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