Chestnut Fencing at Coates

Symantec fund English Chestnut Fencing

Symantec is funding the installation of traditional English post & rail fencing at the Coates Portal of Sapperton Tunnel.

Brockworth base

Symantec has offices in more than fifty countries globally. The Cotswold Canals Trust has benefited from the fact that Brockworth in Gloucestershire is the base for one such office.

Corporate benevolence

Symantec has made a sizeable funding grant to the Trust.

The company then added value to that grant by releasing a number of its local employees to carry out restoration work. Symantec's corporate benevolence has developed even further by the fact that the company will make further donations for every hour worked by their employees on the canal restoration project.

CCT's environmental specialist

Paul Rutter is a Cotswold Canals Trust member with a special interest in environmental matters. Paul used Symantec’s donation to source a quantity of split sweet chestnut post and rail fencing from a company in the Forest of Dean.

Sustainable resource

Sweet chestnut is repeatedly coppiced over many years, and so is a sustainable resource. It is a native hardwood and is weather resistant when split along the grain. Chestnut is grown as 'coppice wood'. It is cut during the winter months and new growth shoots from the stools (stumps) in the following spring. Timber can then be harvested 15-20 years later. This process can go on for decades.

Traditional fixing

The posts used at Coates portal have been mortised out to receive the rails. The ends of the rails are tapered to enable a tight-fit fixing without the need for screws or nails. The posts are mounted in holes that are backfilled with rammed earth so no concrete is required. Once the fence is assembled the post holes are backfilled creating a completely firm fence line. The natural tannins present in sweet chestnut obviate any need for wood preservative treatment. 

The Coates connection

Pictured above are Symantec’s Nick Coates and May Lynch working with CCT’s Steve Pickover.