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Softwood fencing – a great choice for the environment

Softwood fencing – a great choice for the environment

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.

Posted on August 31st, 2022 Posted In: Advice, Fencing

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Pressure-treated timber for long term protection

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.

pressure treated timber

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

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Garden Party Time?

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.

Challenge fencing woodcare products for your garden

Shed and Garden Fence Treatment in 4 colours

Build a raised flower bed, seating area or some steps with our range of railway sleepers.

Garden railway sleepers from Challenge Fencing

A raised flower bed and garden seating area made from railway sleepers

Garden railway sleepers from Challenge Fencing

Steps made from railway sleepers

Build a pergola. Either freestanding, attached to a property or built into a deck using our extensive range of treated timber.

Garden treated timber from Challenge Fencing

Pergolas can be used to create shaded seating areas

Visit the Challenge Fencing Home Page, where you can buy securely online or for home delivery from one of our branches.

Posted on June 1st, 2022 Posted In: Advice, Fencing

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What Is Composite Garden Decking?

Challenge Fencing are pleased to offer Smartboard Composite Garden Decking, the future of eco-friendly decking.

What makes composite garden decking so special?

Alan Titchmarsh is believed to be the person responsible for bringing garden decking to the forefront of British summer time gardening. Ground Force debuted on BBC 2 in 1997 and needless to say, nothing was the same after.

He has since “apologised” for creating such a huge buzz… but we here at Challenge Fencing don’t think he has anything to apologise for.

Smartboard Composite Decking child about to run onAfter all, because of Mr Titchmarsh, we have sold a lot of timber to people looking to build their own decks. It is and always has been a wonderful addition to any garden. That’s why we are pleased to announce the sale of Smartboard panels; a durable, good looking and eco-friendly composite that is the perfect alternative to traditional timber.

Why is this better than timber?

Composite Decking, Smartboard close up

Decks are wonderful, they really are… but they can be hard work sometimes.

Maintaining a healthy-looking and usable deck requires very regular upkeep, checks, cleaning, the list goes on. It’s a lot of work on something that should be relaxing.

Smartboard decking helps to get rid of all of those nagging jobs by simply being good to go all year round. Easy to clean, less likely to rot, less likely to splinter, more durable and, above everything else, good for the planet.

How is it good for the planet?

SmartBoard is the future of composite garden decking. The boards are made from residues of engineered oak flooring combined with recycled hard plastic such as shampoo bottles, meaning it is a wonderfully eco-friendly alternative to timber.

It combines all of the benefits of wood plastic composite technology while being designed to look exactly like the wood you would use to build your deck. Save the planet, build a deck!

Composite Decking fixed with Smartboard Screws

Should I consider buying some for my garden decking?

Well… yes. This is the kind of revolutionary material that will become the go-to choice for deck-builders in the coming years.

If you are conscious of the footprint you leave on the planet, opting for Smartboard composite decking will help your efforts to reduce the damage by a considerable way. Smartboard is a reversible decking with an appealing, tactile brushed matte finish creating a more natural surface than most composite alternatives.

Smartboard matt finishWhat’s more… it just looks fantastic. Colour-coded and specially designed screws* create an almost completely invisible finish that really ties the whole deck together.

Smartboard decking is available in 3 colours (grey, brown or slate) at Smartboard Composite Decking

Take a look at our Smartboard installation video on YouTube

We also stock Concrete Decking Posts which are an excellent way to build a deck over uneven ground. Add Smartframe C24 decking frame & you have the ultimate garden deck.

*warranty only applies if Smartboard screws are used.

Posted on August 13th, 2021 Posted In: Decking


Preparing for the Colder Months

As summer fades to autumn, the weather gets a bit colder, a bit wetter… let’s be honest, a bit worse.

After an incredibly dry few months, the history books are pointing to what could be a very wet September and October. With this risk on the cards, what can you do to prepare for autumn?

Keep Your Tools Fighting Fit

It’s not easy keeping your shed in tip-top shape, let alone all of the tools it might house.

Spade Digging Mud

Luckily for you, it’s really easy to solve. Rust that forms after water damage can cause long-term problems if not looked at properly so a quick wipe-over with an oily cloth will help to combat this.

Avoid keeping certain liquids in your shed

Certain paints and sprays can freeze throughout the winter, often permanently changing their consistency.

Roller painting with blue paint

If your shed is properly insulated,  it is best to keep these liquids in your home.

Store your electrical items above floor level

Should your shed ever suffer water damage, any electrical items that were left on the floor may be permanently damaged. One of the best solutions to this is as simple as keeping your tools in air tight boxes above floor level.

Organised Shed Shelving

This will help protect them for years to come.

Regular checks and inventory

Spring cleaning in autumn? Why not?

You can maximise your shed space by having a clear out. Take an inventory of all of your tools and throw out anything you don’t use. Be ruthless – do you really need five different rakes?


This can go some way to making sure your shed is at top quality and functional all year round, not just in those tricky colder months.

Short of that, Challenge Fencing has a spectacular range of sheds available to buy so you can always treat yourself!

Posted on August 24th, 2018 Posted In: Seasonal

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Six of the Best: Displays and Planters

Over the past few years, we have seen some incredible ways to show off your flowers with DIY displays and planters of all shapes and sizes. Upcycling old materials, using scrap wood… you name it. There have been some absolutely genius uses of thought-to-be-useless items:

Recycled baskets turned planters

There has also been this…

Jeans used as plant container

Right now we want to take you through six of the best planters and displays that we have come across in our extensive research:

1. The Minimalist Flower Wall Hang

Wall Hung Flowers

Source: SugarAndCloth

Starting off, this is one of the simplest yet most wonderful ways to add a bit of colour to your home. Pick your favourite flowers and display them with a beautiful, minimalist “vase”. We love how eye-catching it is, despite how little there is. Call it reductionism, minimalism, modernism, whatever you want, it’s one of our favourites!

2. The Hanging Vineyard

Hanging VineyardSource: InHabitat

Everything about this makes us feel like we’re on holiday in Italy. Although a little bit more work than the Wall Hang, the end product is still absolutely wonderful! Repurposing empty wine bottles into hanging herb gardens not only saves space but will give your garden a beautiful, rustic feel. Perfect decorations on a summers evening.

3. The Chair Planter

Old chair recycled to be a planter

Source: Garden Therapy

You would think that a chair without a seat is good for very little. Well, we’ve got some news for you! If you have a garden chair that you are on the verge of throwing out, we urge you to try out the chair planter. Put your most prized succulents on a throne… where else would they deserve to be put?

4. Colander Planter

Colander Planter

Source: Country Living

A very similar project to the hanging wine bottles, this is a great way to repurpose your old kitchen utensils. The colander offers a number of benefits, not only because of them being so easy to personalise but also because they offer great drainage by their very nature! Above all else, the handles on the side will make a colander the perfect hanging planter for your garden.

5. Vertical Pallet Planter

Planters made from anything

Source: Upcycle That

A heavy duty, no-nonsense planter. A great way to hold a lot but take up minimal space is to build up. The website we found this planter on has a very helpful guide on how to build it, getting the dimensions right etc. But if you’re thinking ‘I don’t have any pallets so how can I do this?’ don’t worry. You can pick up pallets for free from any of our branches! Just give us a call and ask a team member to give you a hand.

6. All of ours

Wooden Plant Containers

We don’t want to sound biased when we say this but we have some of the best planters on the market. Not quite as “DIY” as the others, they aren’t upcycles but Challenge Fencing produce planters that look spectacular and are built to last.

Posted on June 22nd, 2018 Posted In: Seasonal


Taking Your Garden to the Next Level

Whether it’s the perfect watch or the right bag, an accessory can make or break an outfit.

The same also applies to gardens. Too much and it becomes busy and difficult. Too little and it becomes boring and plain. But with the right amount of adjustments and additions, you can add a whole lot of character to your garden. Here are some of the best garden accoutrements available for you at Challenge Fencing:

Garden Railway Sleepers

Easily one of the most versatile items we offer. We have seen these used as steps for people who wanted to add levels to their garden, we’ve seen them make up flower beds and we’ve even seen them be used to make a swing.

We wrote about some of the best uses that our customers had found for their railway sleepers, not too long ago. Check it out here!

Railway Sleeper Hamac

Buy your railway sleepers here!

Garden Trellis Panels

It’s not just good looking, it’s also really helpful for your wildlife. Give climbing plants the support they need with our great selection of panels.

Not just for the plants, though. A trellis panel can act as a divider between separate outdoor spaces, meaning you’ll have your space to grow your vegetables and your children have another place to play.

Trellis Panels close up

Buy your trellis panels here!

Arbours and Arches

The perfect addition for spring and summertime but still wonderful all year round! Both offer similar things to trellis panels but they work in very different ways. While the trellis panels, arbours and arches all offer support for wall-climbing plants, arbours and arches provide more of a focal point for your garden.

An arbour gives you a great place to sit outside and enjoy the peace and quiet. An arch, though, can be the addition that really completes your garden. Both work well, but which is best for you?

Arbours and Arches Display

Garden Furniture

If you think of yourself as something of a Gatsby, parties are probably going to be one of your biggest interests. As such, it’s important to offer your guests a place to sit.

Challenge Fencing has a very wide range of furniture for you; picnic tables, rocking chairs, garden benches and much more! Long-lasting and versatile, you’re guaranteed to find something that fits your needs and wants!

Garden table and benches

Your garden is your garden so you can put whatever you want in it. But we’re confident that we’ve given you some good guidance and advice for you to take your garden to new heights and create a space that you and everyone that visits it will thoroughly enjoy.

Posted on May 30th, 2018 Posted In: Advice


5 More things that are not as tough as a Challenger Shed

Some things in life are tough. Difficult to understand, hard to get right, difficult to break down, it’s not easy. But when it comes to Challenger Sheds, there is no competition. Nothing is tougher than them. We’ve got 5 ‘tough’ things that pale in comparison to the Challenger.

1. Understanding BitCoin

Is it up, is it down? Do you buy now, sell later? Trading ‘cryptocurrencies’ is the hottest trend right now but getting started is confusing and scary. All of these numbers and complexities, it’s too tough.

You know what is tougher though? A shed made of premium quality Scandinavian Redwood that is 100% pressure treated to protect it against wood decay and insect attack for up to 25 years.


2. Figure Skating

If you’ve ever been to your local rink, it’s hard enough just standing upright without the complete lack of friction throwing your body all over the shop like a ragdoll! But compared to a Challenger Shed, executing a perfect Salchow and double Lutz is a walk in the park!
figure skating silhouette

3. Bowling a perfect 300

If you ignore the ridiculous shoes, bowling is fantastic. But bowling well? That’s a different story. We’d be lying if we said we don’t still need the barriers and that slide thing to get the ball going down the lane.

However, we have had a good, long look at the Challenger Shed.  We reckon we have more of a chance of bowling a perfect game than we do of the Challenger Shed losing a fight against nature.

activity, alley, ball

300? It’s been done.

4. Evenly slicing cheese

You’re making a sandwich, it’s going brilliantly and then you think about adding some cheese to it, assuming that you can cut a perfect slice of Emmental off no problem. What happens next? You end up with differently sized slices because knives don’t do what they’re supposed to.

A Challenger Shed, however, is supposed to improve the appearance of a garden while acting as a shelter for garden tools and other items you have. And what does it do? Exactly that.

Cheese and knife on a cheese board


5. Reading Ulysses by James Joyce

Allegedly one of the most difficult books to read that was ever published, Ulysses uses a number of different styles, voices, languages… You need a working knowledge of Latin, Greek, Shakespeare, Catholic theology, all manner of subjects!

James Joyce Book Edge

We read a few pages and it was tough but not “Challenger Shed tough.”


The Challenger Shed is among the finest quality garden buildings on the market. Made with Scandinavian Redwood, and treated to last for years to come, you can find yours here.

Posted on April 17th, 2018 Posted In: Sheds


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