High Lickbarrow farm was bequeathed to the National Trust in 2015 and is home to the rare Albion cattle, formerly known as "Blue" Albions. The Albion has recently been recognised as a UK native rare breed and added to the Rare Breeds Survival Trust's watchlist because of its rarity. High Lickbarrow Farm supports the largest herd in the country.
The farm covers fifty hectares of land which has traditionally been grazed by only a small number of cattle and supports some fantastic wildflower rich pastures, much of which has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Our first job was to get the straining posts into position. Usually this is done by hand and one person can generally dig in and tighten into position, two posts each day. As the fence line was so long and undulating, it meant there were a lot of straining posts to put in. Luckily, as the farm provided good access, we were able to speed the job along by getting a local contractor to come in with a tractor mounted post knocker and the whole lot were in place in less than a day.
With the strainers in place, a single length of plain wire is attached between each post. This gives a straight line to help align the struts and fence posts. Struts are added to prevent the straining posts from moving while the wire is being tensioned. With these in place we then knocked in fence posts every two metres between the straining posts.
Once all the struts and posts were in position it was time to attach the stock fencing. This is connected between straining posts and tightened to the required tension using two pairs of "monkey strainers".
With all the stock fencing completed the next job was to add a single strand of barbed wire.
To make sure the fence was completely stock proof we added sections of post and rail fencing between straining posts and other boundaries such as dry stone walls or hedges (as shown in the photograph above).
To finish off we incorporated a gate into the fence line to further improve access.