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Protecting our precious places

Bulldozing fencelines

Factors to consider when bulldozing fencelines.


A bulldozed fenceline is more accessible for construction and future maintenance, as materials and post-driving machinery can be brought in by tractor.

Uneven ground can be smoothed out, reducing the problem of spanning humps and hollows, and enabling regular post spacing.

Soil creep, gradually burying mid-slope fences, can be avoided by forming a clear bench for the fence.

The overall cost is generally less than a hand-built fence, as the machine costs are usually more than offset by savings in time and labour.

Photo below: Fencing at the top of a slope requires less preparation, is more accessible and less costly.

Fencing at the top of a slope

Photo below: This mid-slope fence at the bush edge is vulnerable from soil creep and slippage on the slope above.

Fencing at mid-slope

Points to watch

The disturbed ground along a newly bulldozed fenceline can be ripe for weed invasion (right next to your covenant) and can be prone to erosion if it slopes steeply.

Sometimes, stock movement along the cleared line prevents pasture from re-establishing and contributes further to erosion.

Photo below: Bare ground along bulldozed fencelines can be erosion-prone on steep slopes and invites weeds.

Fencing along bare ground


  • Avoid bulldozing fencelines down steep slopes, especially in areas of unstable soil type.
  • Consider extending the area of your covenant beyond the existing edge of the bush or feature you want to protect, so you can run your fence along the top of the slope and avoid mid-slope boundaries. Site disturbance is likely to be less and access easier.
  • Follow contours where possible, using more angles.
  • Select a good operator with a suitable machine for adequate finishing of uphill cuts, compacting fill, forming water cut-offs on slopes and forming culverts. Mini-diggers may disturb less ground though be less efficient than a dozer.
  • Restrain the operator - you do not need a highway!
  • Ensure your fence is on hard ground, not fill.
  • Beat the weeds by reinstating disturbed ground as soon as possible by fertilising and resowing with pasture grass.

Open SpaceTM Magazine No. 65, November 2005 © QEII National Trust

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