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Which is More Environmentally Friendly: Composite or Timber Fencing?

Let’s take a look and you decide!

Erecting fencing around your property is the perfect way to ensure privacy, boost security, and improve the aesthetics of your home! Fencing can be crafted from a huge range of woods, metals, or composite materials! Usually for residential properties and homes, fencing is chosen from timber of composite, as metal fencing tends to be reserved for industrial sites, governmental buildings, and other places that require a higher degree of security. But with the environment and climate change being the forefront of the public’s mind due to worsening weather phenomena and events like COP26, many are asking themselves how to tailer their purchased around the most environmentally friendly options. So, between traditional timber fencing and newer composite fencing, which is the most environmentally friendly option? Let’s take a look:

Timber Fencing

Timber fencing can be an environmentally friendly option, with the important words there being “can be”. Timber is a naturally occurring resource that is abundant and easily replaceable. Yet, deforestation is devastating our planet and causing the loss of countless species of plants and animals in vital areas of biodiversity like the Amazon Rainforest. Timber is therefore only an environmentally friendly resource if taken from sustainable sources and in conjunction with replanting efforts!

Composite Fencing

Composite fencing using a blend of wood fibres and polymers to create a strong and weatherproof material. The use of plastics in creating composites also produces harmful chemicals and by products and requires the use of crude oil. Composites are not the most environmentally friendly material to produce, but this depends again on the source of the materials used. Opting for a composite made from recycled materials can off-set the harmful effects of producing plastics, because recycling plastics into long-term solutions is better than them ending up in landfill or the oceans.

Verdict: composite materials are certainly more environmentally harmful to produce that timber, but on a greater scale may be less harmful to the environment if recycled materials are used. Sourcing timber fencing from a sustainable source focused on replanting may be accessible for some, but for the majority a recycled composite blend is likely the most environmentally – and economically – friendly fencing option available.