brown fencing panels

Have you ever thought of installing secure garden fencing? Well, if you never have, perhaps it is time to think again! As the days get lighter and the weather gets warmer there is typically an unfortunate increase in thefts, especially of items that are left outdoors in the garden. Children's toys, plants, garden furniture and other valuable outdoor items can be easy pickings for thieves. The average British garden contents have a value of nearly £2,000 so it is very important to secure the garden.

Editor’s Note [25.03.2024]:

Our article about installing secure garden fencing was originally published on May 29, 2015. Today we have added many updates, with new sections including attributes of high-quality secure fencing and maintenance tips for long-lasting fence security. We have also added lots of extra information about home security lighting.

The need for secure garden fencing

There are a number of ways to ensure the garden is secure, including the use of security fencing, gates, locks, lights, and marking property, as well as alterations that make garden fences more difficult to climb.

The latter may involve applying a sort of topper to the fence. There is no guarantee a thief will not still climb the fence, but it will be a deterrent that may make the thief choose an easier target. Furthermore, if a thief still tries to climb the fence the extra bother will take more time and will be more difficult to avoid drawing attention. The following suggestions may help deter any unwanted garden visitors.

Secure fencing

The first line of defence against an unwanted intruder in the garden is a surrounding fence with lockable gates. If there is no fence and there is a concern about theft, a strong fence should be installed. A good guideline to follow for fence height is four feet (1.2m) at the front part of the house/property. This includes any gates, fencing, hedges, or walls. It is important that passer-byers are able to see to the yard.

This makes it more difficult for thieves to go undetected if they do make it into the garden. The rest of the fence not facing the front of the property should be the standard six feet (1.8m). If there happens to be any sort of public access on either side of the garden it is suggested to increase the height of the fence to six feet six inches (2m). Planning permission is usually required if the fence or structure is to be any higher.

a run of wooden fencinga run of wooden fencing
Forest 6' x 6' Acoustic Noise Reduction Tongue and Groove Fence Panel (1.83m x 1.80m) - Click Image to View

Attributes of high-quality secure fencing

What makes a garden security fence not just good, but top-quality? Read on:

a wooden tongue & groove fencing panela wooden tongue & groove fencing panel
Forest 6' x 6' Pressure Treated Vertical Tongue and Groove Fence Panel (1.83m x 1.83m) - Click Image to View
  1. Aesthetic appeal - secure does not have to mean austere, dull, and unattractive. High-quality security fencing should be appealing and make a positive first impression
  2. Anti-climb design - not everybody will like this, but inbuilt anti-climb design is a real deterrent. The use of anti-climb spikes for example, might be advisable to mitigate vulnerable areas
  3. Durability - top-quality security fences also must be highly durable. They need to be built to last, any flaws in the fencing increase risks of intruders breaking in
  4. Height matters – From a height perspective – “The higher, the better”. Imposing security fencing is a deterrent to thieves and intruders
  5. Visibility - if visibility is important to you there are options. Look for fencing with more of a balance between privacy and visibility

Lockable gates

Once the security fencing is in place it is important to lock up any access points to the garden with a strong lockable gate. The height of the gates should be the same as the fence, with hinges that attach securely to the gateposts. Then be sure to use the locks. After a day in the garden or other activities, it is important to lock up the shed, gate, and garage (all that apply). The locks should not be accessible from over the fence; they should be out of reach.

a 6ft high wooden side gatea 6ft high wooden side gate
Forest Europa 3' x 6' Pressure Treated Wooden Side Garden Gate - Click Image to View

Security lighting

The use of outdoor lighting is generally a good deterrent against thieves. It is especially important to use lighting near windows and doors. A great option for security lighting is the type of lights that are triggered by differences in daylight, so they turn on automatically at dusk and turn off at dawn, or the type that is triggered by movement.

Identify and mark property

A really good practice to deter thieves, especially if they do make it into the garden is to mark all of the property. Police advise homeowners to mark valuable items like ornaments and furniture with the postcode and home number. This information can be etched on the items or even painted on. It should be placed in an easily visible location on the items so thieves can readily see it; this makes the items less tempting to steal. However, if the items are still stolen it may be easier to recover them with the information on them. Lastly, theft of any property typically will involve the police or maybe even an insurer so take and keep photos of the garden valuables if anything is vandalised or stolen.

Apply fence toppers

While the fence is the first line against intruders into the garden, fences are sometimes easy to climb. There are a number of ways to make more secure garden fencing by applying various toppings to the fence. Fixing a square-shaped timber trellis of about 300mm to 600mm in height and with battens about 15 to 20mm can deter climbing. Our 6’x1’ and 6’x3’ diamond lattice fence toppers are also a great buy and add a stylish finish to the top of fencing. To make the best use of this type of topping use it for support of some type of prickly shrub (e.g., firethorn, or hawthorn).

a dip treated trellis fence topper atop a dip treated wooden fencea dip treated trellis fence topper atop a dip treated wooden fence
Forest 6' x 1' Diamond Lattice Trellis Fence Topper (1.83m x 0.3m) - Click Image to View

There is a wide selection of thorny plants that are sometimes classified as defensive shrubs. Make sure the topping is affixed in such a way that it is not easily pulled off. The firm fixing will also ensure it can carry the weight of the chosen climbing plants. These are a good alternative to barbed wire, which can cause you to become legally liable for injuries sustained by intruders. It is best to use pressure treated timber, galvanised fixings or high-quality steel for this type of structure so there is no worry about rotting timber.

Maintenance tips for long-lasting fence security

Listed below are some essential maintenance tips:

  • Check for damage - head problems off at the pass through regular inspection. The earlier you spot problems, the better, after all “prevention is better than cure”. Look for issues early on, such as loose nails or cracked fence panels, this will save you considerable time later
  • Clear garden debris – never allow leaves and debris to pile up and accumulate. This attracts mould and fungus growth and leads to decay
  • Regular cleaning - give your fence a good clean as often as you can, at least three times per year (as a minimum) is recommended. This removes grime and traffic film, plus layers of moss and algae. Accumulated layers of “muck” will lead to wear and tear, so a regular scrub and hose down will be a good preventative measure to take
  • Regular painting and staining - it is a nice thought that regular painting and staining is not only for aesthetic reasons, but it also adds as an extra layer of protection
a tub of fence and shed treatment with a harvest gold coloura tub of fence and shed treatment with a harvest gold colour
Fence Treatment 5ltr Harvest Gold - Click Image to View
  • Rustproofing of metal parts – over time, metal parts can rust and lead to undermining of the fencing infrastructure. Keep all your metal parts rust-free by use of a suitable outdoors rust inhibitor and preventer
  • Stabilise fence posts - ensure fence posts are sturdy. If they are “wobbly” in any way take actions to fix whatever is causing the issue
  • Trim overhanging branches – trees are beautiful but there branches can be a hazard for fencing, so keep them trimmed. On windy days they may cause damage to fencing, as the branches crash into panels
  • Wood treatments - It almost goes without saying “treat your wood with a quality wood preservative”. This applies mainly to dip treated wood, but also mature pressure treated wooden fencing. The preservative will help the fencing against issues such as rot, decay, insect attacks, and weather damage

Related Article

Why not also read the following related article from the Buy Fencing Direct blog?


If you want to make sure your fence is harder for thieves to climb, take a look at the taller fences that we offer and watch our video below for more information on high-level fencing:

In conclusion

To summarise, ensuring your garden is a secure haven is less complicated than you think, but it does take thought and planning. Choose from a multi-faceted good garden security regime including robust secure fencing, security garden gates, and strategic garden lighting, which all help to create a formidable barrier against unwanted intruders.

Another suggested practice is to invisibly mark property, so if it is stolen it can be identified back to you. Prickly plants on fence toppers add another layer of perimeter security solution and add a threat to any intruder. These steps safeguard your garden’s security and privacy whilst improving your peace of mind and making your outdoor space more enjoyable.

Contact Buy Fencing Direct

As a prominent UK fencing supplier, Buy Fencing Direct has a range of secure garden fencing options available, contact us in these ways:

  • Phone calls - 0333 003 0515
  • E-mails – send these through our contact form
  • Text chat - message us in real-time through our text chat feature