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Stile Design #1, the crossed tread option.

Stile Design #1, the crossed tread option.

Fences are amazing things. They totally reshape the way you think about a landscape by cutting it into smaller, yet still expansive, rooms. They alter the movement patterns of humans and other animals and we’ve very quickly discovered the bits where, far from any gate, we’re regularly having to launch ourselves between strands of high-tensile barbed wire. With a bit of research, we came up with a couple of simple designs for stiles allowing easy pedestrian access at high-traffic points.

Stile #2, the parallel tread option

Stile Design #2, the parallel tread option, pictured with salvaged tree guard to deter tetanus-conscious kangaroos.

Both stile designs are pretty simple, and constructed from tank-pad off-cuts and broken vineyard posts. We followed general rules that the stiles should be located near a fence-post to provide somewhere for the climber to lean, and that they’re self-supporting with the posts are buried to half their length. With a post on either side of the fence, the first design has the treads crossed at the centre, while the second has the steps in parallel.

The crossed tread design is perhaps more elegant, but for someone as ungainly as myself, might demand too much fancy footwork, especially when carrying tools or materials! We’ll trial them both, then knock together some more based on popularity.