Erecting Chestnut Fencing, Chestnut Paling & Cleft Chestnut Fencing

Cleft Post and Rail

The Chestnut post and rail system is set up by slotting the rails into the mortice slots of the selected fence post, which is simply concreted or back rammed into the ground. This style of fencing is commonly used around fields because of it's ease to install, although it does not boast the same security as a traditional garden fence panel.

One possible method of fixing a fence post into the ground is back ramming. This is done by digging a hole only a little larger in width than the fence post you are supporting, placing the fence post in the hole and then backfilling with soil and ramming to support the fence post. The soil should be back filled and rammed bit by bit rather than all at once to ensure a good hold.

This method of securing the fence post is not suggested if the ground you are securing the post into is soft or loose. This method is also only suggested when using fence posts that provide more than the standard 600mm in the ground and only to be used with post and rail fencing.

Concreting in fence posts can be done with either a mixture of ballast and cement, (approx. mix; 6:1) or Postfix. The amount required of either product depends on the size of the hole that the post is going into.

When concreting fence posts into the ground the posts should be buried a minimum of 600mm into the ground and the concrete is to be placed around the post, but not underneath. If the fence post has the concrete underneath as well as around the sides, the concrete can trap water and therefore soak the post, greatly increasing the chance of decay.

If the ground the fence post is sunk in to is not free draining soil then a small layer of shingle can be placed under the post (with the post still sunk a minimum of 600mm into the ground), to help drainage occur.

Chestnut Paling

Typical uses:

Chestnut paling is very easy to erect with no special tools required. A major use is for tree protection to keep plant and machinery clear during construction work. It can be suitable for dog fencing depending on their size and nature. It is a natural looking and fairly unobtrusive garden fence which looks good in rural areas. It can also be used successfully in areas of trees and shrubbery where it is difficult to get a perfectly straight line to set the garden fence to.


Chestnut paling is fixed via means of the 2/3 support wires via staples to the intermediate fence posts, which are normally driven into the ground 3m apart. The chestnut paling needs to be pulled tight during erection and so needs to have straining posts at ends and corners to support the tension. This can be achieved by using some of the posts as struts which are fixed at 45 degrees to the straining fence posts. The best tool to tension the chestnut paling fence is a wire strainer or small winch. A tip if you don''''t have these to hand is to take one of the stakes which is being used to erect the garden fence and insert this through the gap between the pales. Then lever this against the straining post in order to tighten the fence, taking care not to break the chestnut.

Chestnut Picket Fence Panel

Designed for speedy erection, with 1800mm long ready assembled panels of fencing.

A range of posts can be used, though we suggest 75 x 75mm posts. The length needed is likely to be half a 2.7m long posts so we suggest cutting one of these in half (be sure to position the cut end upwards to ensure a longer post life).

Start at one end and erect the first post. Now set out the position of the next posts, excavate then fix the panel to the first post, then install and fix the second post. Top tip - fix the panel rail just haf way across the post to leave room for the next post. Now erect the next continuing in a similar manner. Finally, add an additional chestnut pale over the joint between the panels.

9th Apr 2019