In 40 years as an independent business fencing supplier, Parker McVeigh, has seen a lot of changes in the fencing industry. Some of the more notable milestones they have shared with us:

‘When we started back in 1979 through to the early ‘80s, the majority of fencing wire was mild steel and hinge jointed, the timber used for posts and strainers was CCA-treated which is timber preserved with copper chrome arsenate or chromated copper arsenate, as it is known in some countries.

The copper and arsenic in CCA acted as fungicides and insecticides, while the chromium fixed the chemicals into the wood. The chemical mixture was injected into the wood under pressure so that the wood was saturated with the chemicals.

Agricultural products, such as gates and feeders that we were selling, were mainly heavy duty and manually welded on jigs.

As we moved into the late ‘80s things started to change dramatically for our industry – high tensile wire was introduced to the UK, which was revolutionary for fabricated wire netting in agriculture.

High-tensile wire fencing we consider to be the most significant improvement in farm fencing since the introduction of barbed wire in 1874. The main advantage of a high-tensile is that it not only contains livestock, but is more secure, looks neater and lasts longer, with lower maintenance and cost.

Green coated stock fence was also a more recent launch into the market, providing a more attractive form of wire fencing that was more durable than uncoated wire.

n 1990s – High tensile wire started to gain in popularity, especially with contractors. Some manufacturers were using the aluminium/zinc coated longer life galvanised wire.

n Early noughties – The EU banned the use of copper, chrome arsenic (CCA) in timber treatment which resulted in alternative fencing materials being considered, such as recycled plastic and steel, along with other wood preserving treatments.

The gates and feeders we sell were then made by fully automated robot and machine welder assembly lines, providing a more commercial level of output and a much more consistent higher quality. Gates, especially, were cheaper then, than in the '80s.

n The late noughties – X-knot Stiffstay X-fence wire netting was launched onto the market demonstrating real advantages in strength, durability, and protection from damage to livestock over hinge jointed and Titelock knot high tensile wire netting.

Various steel post options were trialled, with timber not lasting as long as it had in the past, due to the stricter rules on chemical treatment now being enforced.

n 2014 – Clipex all steel posts were brought to the UK by McVeigh Parker, bringing these together with X-fence wire netting and a steel strainer to create the Triple X all metal fencing system, that can now be guaranteed to last over 30 years in most environments. The same product is now used across agriculture and industry, easily out-performing more traditional fencing systems.

n Teens – Wire rolls became bigger at up to 500m. Further fencing developments include post knocking track machines and tractor mounted knockers capable of doing many more tasks along with manual hand-held petrol post drivers. Battery operated staplers and nailers all making fencing work quicker easier and more efficient.’