FG8: Anti-predator temporary electric fencing

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the anti-predator temporary electric fencing item.

How much will be paid

£2.85 per metre (m).

Where to use this item

Available for Higher Tier.


  • on lowland wet grassland used by breeding waders - but only when practical reasons prevent the use of FG7 - Anti-predator permanent combination fencing
  • on certain coastal habitats (such as shingle) used by breeding seabirds, especially terns
  • on breeding stone-curlew habitats within grassland and arable land, where both of the following apply:
    • combination fencing cannot be used
    • predatory mammals are known to be limiting productivity

Where this item cannot be used

On historic or archaeological features without specialist approval, such as from the county archaeologist or Historic England

How this item will benefit the environment

It increases the productivity of priority ground-nesting birds when used with effective habitat management.


  • agree with Natural England a specification for the fence in year 1 of the agreement
  • create a temporary electric anti-predator fence that meets the specification and timings as agreed with Natural England
  • regularly check that target predators are absent from the enclosure
  • prevent vegetation from touching the fence’s live wires

Fence specification

The fence is likely to have:

  • set wires at 5cm (live), 15cm (earthed), and then with alternate live and earthed wires set at 10cm intervals up to a height of 1.1m, with an additional live wire at 1.5m
  • wires held by extended insulators
  • a multi-strand top wire coloured white (to increase its visibility to deer and birds)

Do not:

  • restrict or block access to open access land

Keeping records

Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them on request:

  • any consents or permissions connected with the work
  • receipted invoices, or bank statements where a receipted invoice is unavailable
  • records of the number of breeding pairs and breeding productivity of target species within and (as far as possible) outside the fence
  • please see the record keeping and inspection requirements as set out in the Higher Tier manual for more detail

Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them with the claim:

  • photographs of the completed work

Applicants will need to send the following with their application:

  • photographs of the site
  • written support from Natural England for the use of this capital item

The detailed requirements for this item will be tailored to the Higher Tier site. Higher Tier applicants should discuss and agree these requirements with their adviser.

Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this item

The following section gives advice on carrying out this item successfully but does not form part of the requirements for this item

Constructing the fence

Temporary electric anti-predator fencing is best for sites where the fencing cannot be left out all year, or where re-location of the fencing is necessary from year to year.

Anti-predator fences are effective only against large ground predators such as foxes, badgers and hedgehogs. This item should be used alongside effective habitat management and when predators are likely to limit the productivity of the target species.

Where possible the fence should be erected before breeding starts. If this is not possible it will need to be installed with minimal disturbance to the birds. Get a disturbance licence from Natural England if needed for Schedule 1 species, such as stone curlew and little tern.

When constructing the fence it is necessary to:

  • make sure that the fence surrounds a nesting and chick feeding habitat that benefits the target species
  • place fencing away from tall vegetation
  • leave enough space between the fence and boundary for vegetation management
  • modify gates to stop predators getting through, over or under them

Maintaining the fence

Regular inspections are needed to ensure that:

  • vegetation is not touching the fence
  • the voltage is at the required level
  • the structure is maintained to the required specification
  • no target predators are in the enclosed area

Natural England will advise on how frequently these visits are needed (usually at least once a week when birds are nesting).

Control vegetation before it touches the bottom wire. Strim first under the fence line, then apply herbicide.  

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