A fence line with sheep netting attached and posts holding it in place

Grappling with gripples

Today felt like the beginning of the home straight for the fencing project with the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. We were finally in a position to start attaching the wire onto the posts.

We started by lowering a couple of posts with the rammer so they looked in line “by eye”. They were all sunk in the same distance with 1.2m above ground, but the unevenness of the terrain made some look off.

The broad strategy was to securely fix the sheep netting onto the first two straining posts and get it roughly hand tight.

You then need to cut the fence in roughly the middle and insert a device called a gripple. This is like a ratchet, and with a special tool, the tension can then be pulled so that the fence is flush to all the posts.

Roll of sheep netting next to a straining post with fencing tools on the floor
Start of the wire fence line

Finally, you would then bang the nadgers into the intermediate posts, not tightly but just to keep the whole fence in place. Nadgers is not the official name for those fencing clips, but it’s been adopted by GWT work parties as a term.

Glenda and Lisa did a great job in getting the netting securely fixed to each end. We managed to get the gripples installed before securing both ends, but unfortunately did not leave enough of a tail coming out of the gripple to get a secure grip with the tool.

This was because none of us had used the tool before, and only had youtube videos to go on. By the time we had figured out the correct process, the work party was coming to an end. So we’ll start next week by getting this tensioned and then move onto the next section.

In the afternoon, I headed off to Northamptonshire for the weekend to see good friends of mine for the first time since 2016. Life can trundle by, for one reason and another, before you notice how much has passed.

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