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09/02/2014 at 20:16

Judging by all the droppings in the neighbouring plot, rabbits are a problem on the allotment. So...when all the brambles are cleared... I've decided to build a rabbit proof fence as I'd be gutted if the first veg grown was eaten by them and air rifles aren't allowed on the site.

How difficult can it be....I have some 4ft high rabbit wire...Some plot holders have advised the wire can be buried vertically in the soil, other's have said it needs to be bent out in an 'L' shape, some silly Q's now, what height do the posts need to be, I'm thinknig 5ft, how far apart should they be and how far into the ground should they go so the fence is firm.

The fence would be on a slope which me thinks might make it more difficult to build.

Thanks for your replies in advance. 

09/02/2014 at 20:32

I suspect that getting rid of your briambles will improve matters - rabbits love to shelter in a briar patch - remember Brer Rabbit   They will be sheltering there and popping out to raid the nearby allotments.

Yes, the fencing needs to be turned out at the bottom in the direction of where the rabbits are coming from - some details here 

09/02/2014 at 23:10

I'm in the process of fencing to keep the rabbits out of our garden.  Our fencing is about 1m high and yes, in an L shape about a foot under the ground going out towards the rabbits trying to get in, if you see what I mean.  I don't think rabbits jump very high but I could be wrong.  My experience is they just eat what they see literally in front of their noses.  The part of our garden next to the wood is on a slope too but the fencing seems to be ok.  The posts just need to be high enough to take the fencing and ours are about 2/3 metres apart. 

More than happy to be contradicted on this advice though ... I don't think I'll rest easy until we have a whole year without any furry visitors. 


10/02/2014 at 13:06
Charlie November wrote (see)

I thought the fences had to go 18" underground to be sure. Let me check that.

Various search results say 1m, 36" or 48" high and some say 6" deep where some say bend the bottom 6" outwards along the ground and some say you should bury 12" of it across the bottom of and up the garden side of a 6" trench.

They dig deeper than 6". Trust me on that.


But are they smart enough to start digging far enough back from the bottom of the fence to avoid the bit that's been turned up?

10/02/2014 at 15:48

Hmm, are you on my allotment site?

We have been rabbit-free since setting up the site 3 years ago but the little darlings have just made an appearance these last few weeks. Got a message from my neighbour up there to tell me the apple trees have been stripped 


I had originally fenced off my plot with sturdy posts and 4ft high windbreak netting, so my plan is to just fasten chicken wire fencing on the outside of this and I can keep the benefit of the windbreaks. Looking at buying chicken wire from my local farm supplies, they have different sizes. Do people recommend 25mm holes or will 31mm be enough?


10/02/2014 at 16:22

Just to add my experiences - rabbits can't jump very high but they can climb up and over 1 metre high fencing, so go taller. They can dig under anything, including my dry-stone walls. Get small-size mesh chicken wire as the babies can get through the larger size. Don't expect it to last long as rabbits can bite through the wire, you have to keep checking for breaches. And don't expect to win - the rabbits always find a way!

10/02/2014 at 19:09
Charlie November wrote (see)

The weakness in a fence is the gate. They go under gates. If you want a genuinely impregnable rabbit-proof allotment, you'll need a solid, level sill onto which the closed gate fits snugly so they can't go through a gap there.

Couldn't agree more with this Charlie November.  Our gate is on a slope and I've had to fit some garden edging to block the gap.  A pain in the backside to move every time I want to open the gate, but whatever it takes ...

landgirl100 wrote (see)

Just to add my experiences - rabbits can't jump very high but they can climb up and over 1 metre high fencing, so go taller. And don't expect to win - the rabbits always find a way!

As much as I don't want to admit it yet, I think you may be right landgirl100


10/02/2014 at 19:17

It al starts off very innocently

 But once they get the idea ......

 .... there's no stopping them 

10/02/2014 at 21:16

Sounds like it's a war out there....I'm certainly not going to let them get my veg without a fight  

I had thought about the gate and have a nice long slab to put under it, I even thought about making sure the gate is wide enough for a wheel barrow.

I've 50m of chicken wire and this isn't very scientific but was thinking a post every three strides. There's a huge pile of stones at the bottom of the plot, how does this sound, I was thinking of filling the outside of the trench with soil over the buried wire and the inside trench-half with soil and top part with stones. 

Didn't know rabbits could climb or eat through wire though  the wire's 3' 7' wide, so even if I only go 6 ' deep and then with the bit bent outwards, isn't going to leave much wire above ground.

I was thinking 5ft posts but 6ft posts seem a better option and then more wire could be attached to the top if need be and they can be driven into the ground further.  

Could do with a perimetre fence like the one's round a prison    


10/02/2014 at 23:29

Mike. I'm a new plot holder and the  plots on offer when I was asked to choose, being the last in a list of 34 were not one's you could plant in without lots of work.     

Take your point about sharing the cost and helping with the labour. I'm happy to pay for the fence, I've reckied cheap materials but would like some help in building it after all it will protect neighbouring plots from rabbits.  

 I've not met the neighbouring plot holders yet, one's a newbie like me but that plot is easy pezzie compared to mine, after the grass was cut the first week, beds are now being dug over.

I was thinking a trench a couple of feet wide so the stones would crate a path with membrane under to prevent weeds and stuff growing through but not that deep.        

11/02/2014 at 08:31

Mike, unless Zoomer is keeping chickens on the plot, Reynard may turn out to be an ally in the war on rabbits 

11/02/2014 at 20:20

Not sure if they get fox's on the site, it wasn't a Q asked, do they eat veg or just rabbits

11/02/2014 at 20:22

Foxes quite like a few strawberries and blackberries, and they also eat quite a few earthworms and beetles and the like, but fortunately they don't like veg with their rabbits 

11/02/2014 at 21:21

More than happy to share a few strawberries with our friend Reynard

Doesn't look like poultry or animals can be kept on the site although one plot holder keeps bee's. 

12/02/2014 at 00:28

Mike. Happy to be wrong but I don't think it's allowed now for people to go rabbiting with ferret's and net's.

I remember as a child one of my brothers kept ferrets, as long as he asked the farmers permission to go rabbiting on their land, he could, oddly enough he's a vegatarian and has never liked eating meat but would bring home a rabbit or two for the stew pot.


12/02/2014 at 07:36

Hi Zoomer - it's still perfectly legal to go rabbiting with ferrets etc, with permission of the landowner and as long as all laws regarding animal welfare are observed. 

Much safer and more humane than the inexperienced taking potshots at them which is so often the only alternative when an area is over-run. 

I've grown up in the countryside and known foxes etc all my life and have never known them to dig and eat raw parsnips, turnips etc in the field - they may dig around them looking for worms and slugs, but I've never known them to eat them - possibly Mike's used to more urban foxes who are known to have different diets to rural ones ........ 

12/02/2014 at 19:12

Thanks for the info Dove, useful to know.. 

19/02/2014 at 20:13

I'm starting on the fence next week. The boundaries of the plot were marked out last weekend by the association and a friend has been roped into help. The sites not quite ready, I've still got a couple of brambles to dig out one side and a heap of stuff to burn at the top of the plot.

If the fence doesn't stop rabbits, may buy a couple of ferrets.

19/02/2014 at 21:17

When we first moved to our house, I built some raised beds on a 'farm yard' made with a couple of feet of iron ore.  To my horror, as soon as I put some flowers in the beds, the rabbits from our paddock behind came in and commenced dining.  So the next job was putting up a picket fence with netting across the holes, to prevent them coming in, but they didn't, despite the fact that if I stand at the bedroom window I can see lots of white tails bobbing about in the paddock.  Then we cleared an area to make a 'pitch' of playable grass, and then I built raised vegetable beds on the other side of the fence, and for the last two years have grown carrots, and salad, and other things that would tempt rabbits.  There is nothing to stop them just coming and taking, but so far they haven't.  My main theory is that because the pitch exists between the overgrown paddock and the vegetables, the rabbits dislike the 'exposure zone' they would have to cross (we have a lot of large birds of prey here).  Alternatively they might be put off by the cats next door have.  Or maybe they have just lost the way.  My dad remembered going out with his uncles and cousins in Suffolk in the 1920s and they could kill rabbits by throwing stones at them.  Perhaps this is an old country skill we should revive.

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