Softwood fencing & garden products are a great choice for the environment.
When forests are harvested, there is little environmental impact, except for the effect of transport, etc. Trees take most carbon dioxide from the atmosphere when they are young, and some old trees actually emit methane that is a powerful greenhouse gas. If the trees are harvested, and the timber is used in a structure, the carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and not returned (as it would be, if the timber was burnt or decayed naturally). The impact of softwood use on the environment and the greenhouse effect is therefore beneficial.
Many of our suppliers use slow grown joinery grade Scandinavian redwood that is certified by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) . Softwood has long be held as the definition of “renewable” or “sustainable” making it the material of choice for consumers for many varied projects and uses, such as softwood fencing.
FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) has a set of criteria and principles for sustainable forest management, these include forest production chains of custody which are applied internationally against individual businesses and subject to state forestry third party audits.
PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) accredits national forest certification schemes to its standards, with associated chain of custody systems, for which companies must also undergo independent auditing.
Between them, FSC and PEFC certification cover an area approaching 500 million hectares, or 11% of the total global forest areas and this continues to expand. This divides as 196 million hectares under the FSC scheme, 300 million hectares under the PEFC scheme, with the former having issued 36,000 product chain of custody certificates, the latter 20,000.
These schemes are designed to halt deforestation and forest degradation, support forest growth, promote ecosystem protection and underpin the social and economic benefits of sustainable forestry. Their key focus is tropical regions, but environmental certification has developed most rapidly in Europe, principally due to its existing high forest management standards. Today a quarter of global certified forest area is in Western Europe. The country with the highest proportion of forest certified is Finland, with 81% followed by Sweden at slightly over 60%. The coverage tends to be lower in southern countries, with Portugal and Spain at 12% and Italy 9%. The schemes’ insistence on third-party audited chain-of-custody certification ensures that end products can be tracked back to the certified forest where they originated and can be kept separate from non-certified material along the supply chain.
Challenge Fencing seek out suppliers that hold either FSC and/or PEFC chain of custody, so you can buy products that are sustainable and are making a positive contribution to the well being of the planet.
Pressure-treated timber provides long term protection against fungal decay, rot and insect attack but does not prevent weathering and corrosion.
You will see an option on many of our fencing products, for example, to select Pressure Treated timber. This is a timber that has been treated in a vacuum with the latest generation TANALITH wood preservative. This renowned preservative gives a proven, outstanding performance, particularly for timbers intended for use in ground contact applications.
The process involves placing the timber into a treatment vessel using a vacuum & hydraulic pressure to force the TANALITH preservative deep into the structure of the timber. The resulting timber such as garden fence panels or timber fence posts often has performance warranties of up to 15 years.
Please see the pressure treatment video below;
Pressure-treated timber with TANALITH can be used with confidence in both above-ground and in-ground situations including construction, fencing, landscaping and engineering applications. When working with pressure-treated wood, we always suggest you wear gloves, eye protection and a dust mask when handling the wood. Also because of the preservatives in pressure-treated wood, it should never be burned.
Please note that it is often harder to paint pressure-treated timber as the very same treatment that allows the material to last outdoors can cause paints to crack and not adhere correctly.
The treated timber is light green in colour and is well suited to environmentally sensitive applications.
Challenge Fencing aim to offer the very best quality fencing & timber garden landscaping products that last longer and save you money in the long run.
Posted on June 8th, 2022 Posted In: Advice
Garden party ideas – with the weather starting to improve (hopefully!) and the evenings getting lighter, now is a great time to spruce up your garden for those special summer BBQs and outdoor living.
Outdoor space is such a precious commodity that we all want to make the most of what we have. There are plenty of ways to give your garden an instant lift without having to spend a fortune.
We’ve pulled together a few easy ideas to help you create that perfect outdoor space.
Paint your fence, shed and wooden furniture or treat your deck to a deep clean and anti-slip topcoat of Decking Oil from our range of woodcare treatments & preservatives.
Build a raised flower bed, seating area or some steps with our range of railway sleepers.
Build a pergola. Either freestanding, attached to a property or built into a deck using our extensive range of treated timber.
The Trade Account Dashboard allows you to manage your account with Challenge Fencing, quickly re-order regular products, see our latest stock levels & pay your outstanding balance if you have been approved for a credit account.
Log in using the My Account link at the top of the page & your registered email address & existing password. Please contact your local branch if you have any issues with your registered email. If you have forgotten your password, please use the Forgot Password button on the Customer login page. Once logged in you will notice the Product banner below the My Account login button turns blue. This indicates you are now logged in & the prices shown across the website exclude VAT but include your pre-agreed trade discount.
Once a product is selected you will see a timestamped, Branch Stock Level panel to the right of the screen. You can update this using the Refresh button at any time. This panel displays our stock across the Challenge network. This allows you to see if your registered local branch will need a little extra time to request stock from another branch to complete your order. However please continue to deal with your registered, local branch. They will manage any stock transfers on your behalf.
Your Trade Account Dashboard is accessed via the Manage link next to My Account at the top of the page.
The first tab on the left allows you to review the details of your account including your Trade Account number & your agreed Trade discount. Working down the left-hand tabs allows you to update your Contact Information, add regular Delivery addresses, change your Password, view your Orders, Quotations, Statements, Favourite Products & Balances.
The last tab, Make a Payment allows you to pay against your agreed Credit limit should you try to place an order that exceeds your credit limit. Please include your Trade Account number as the reference when making a payment. It usually takes a few hours to match your payment against your account & refresh your available credit balance.
Login to your new Challenge Fencing Trade Account here
Timber prices in the UK are very sensitive to market conditions both in Europe and the rest of the world. We take a look at the latest factors that are impacting on UK timber prices.
Here at Challenge we strongly believe in being transparent with all our customers. So, when we face the difficult decision to increase our prices on certain products, we always try to explain the wider market context that has led to the increase, rather than just saying our suppliers are charging us more!
Take sawn timber for example. It may surprise you but the UK is the world’s second biggest net importer (imports less exports) of forest products – only China imports more and our timber imports have been increasing every year for the last 5 years. Combine this with a gradual fall in our own domestic timber production and our UK timber mills and ultimately our suppliers are becoming increasingly exposed to global timber factors.
For example, China has demanded more timber from Europe, the UK’s first option for supply, due to sanctions imposed on Canada, China’s favoured first option for timber. This alone has increased demand, reducing supply & therefore increased prices. Add to this an improving economy in Western Europe driving demand, exchange rate volatility making imports more expensive and our own government’s increased new homes target, many of which are being built using timber-frame techniques and you can see why timber prices are on the increase.
And that’s not all! Latvia has always been an important log supplier to the UK. However, a particularly wet summer last year made log extraction difficult and supply from Latvia has fallen. This is being compounded by a sharpe increase in sea freight and road transport costs and an increased demand for wood to meet the UK government’s incentivised biomass industry.
So, the next time you see a small percentage increase in our product prices, there are many worldwide factors that have an impact on the cost of our gravel boards or fence posts. It is also very likely we are absorbing some of this ourselves so we can continue to offer a good supply of very high quality timber products at competitive prices – but yes mainly it’s due to the weather (in Latvia)!
Data Source: www.forestry.gov.uk
Posted on February 6th, 2018 Posted In: Seasonal
Spending a little time researching garden fence ideas can bring structure, texture and definition to your outdoor space. For example you could try searching for garden fence ideas on Pinterest for page after page of great designs liked by other garden enthusiasts.
After a long winter, and with the Easter weekend just around the corner, it’s lovely to be able to get out into the garden again. There is usually a long list of jobs to get the best from your outdoor space, so a little work now will have your garden looking great for Easter and beyond. Spend an hour or so planning what is required, whether it’s replacing or maintaining a garden fence, weeding and mowing, or redesigning some key features to give your garden a whole new look for the Spring/Summer.
The garden fence is one element of a garden’s design that’s often overlooked, it’s seen as too practical, hard or heavy to fix. Whilst a run of fence panels main function might be to separate one garden from another, there is a wide choice of panel designs that can really affect the look of your garden.
Garden fence panels, when used imaginatively, can feature eye catching decorations, helpful storage pieces or fun signs. Or why not make your fence stand out with multicoloured stains or paints.
Of course you need to establish the basics such as;
A good tip is to visit your local DIY store & lift up one of their panels. Then pop down to a dedicated fencing merchant & pick up the same size panel in their yard. You will be surprised just how heavy and sturdy the professional yard panel is. This is a great sign that the fence panel will not warp or break easily and will give you years of service.
Whilst you are at the fencing merchant why not ask them to plan out your fence for you? The best will be delighted to help work out how many fence panels, posts, gravel boards etc you will need. Often they are ex installers themselves so you can rely on their experience. Just try asking the Saturday staff at your local DIY store the same question 🙂
For more information on our range of garden fencing products, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local branch of Challenge Fencing today! We hold a huge stock at each of our five branches, so can usually deliver the next or sometimes even the same day.
You could have a brand new looking garden in time for the Easter weekend BBQ’s with our Easter fence panel ideas!
Posted on May 25th, 2017 Posted In: Seasonal