unusual garden, unusual problem to make safe - any ideas?

I've got 2 little children who are now getting to the age where they can play in the garden.  We have a lovely large green area (it's going to be life times work to get it where we want it), but the problem is that the round the sides of the wall is a 20 ft drop!  There is a stone wall all the way round the garden which is about 3ft tall, and as you can see in the photos all blends nicely with the house.  The 20 ft drop leads to a river on one side, and a waterwheel on the other.  Both a real hazzard for the kids!

So, I wonder if you have any ideas on how to increase the safety.  A local firm came out and have suggested putting a fence all the way round.  While that probably is the safest option, i'm loathed to hide the lovely wall which is a feature of the garden i think.  In addition, i will cut beds out all the way along and plant some suitably jaggy plants!

Have you any ideas on how i can keep the babies safe, but also keep the lovely wall?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts image

 

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Posts

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,221

    Well Natalie 4 , you seem to have a beautiful site ( though I can't see any pictures).

    If you are putting in unfriendly plants that sounds like the most obvious answer if you don't want a fence. Short of putting the kids on leads tied to a stake in the middle of the plot I don't know what to suggest. 

    Could you not just think of the fence as a temporary safeguard that can be removed when they are older?

  • natalie 4natalie 4 Posts: 21

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  • FarmergeddunFarmergeddun Posts: 229

    Unfortunately with no picture I can't tell what kind of wall it is.  Instead of fence could you put trellis up on top of the wall?

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,221

    Whoa! I see your problem! Definitely leads tied to a stake!

  • natalie 4natalie 4 Posts: 21

    sorry i realise the picture did add first time around.  Yes waterbutts i could just do the fence temporarily, but the amount of fence required is going to make this an expensive job, so its another reason to try and think of something except fence.  it's a tricky one!

  • natalie 4natalie 4 Posts: 21

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  • FarmergeddunFarmergeddun Posts: 229

    oops, posted just before me... sneaky...

    Wow, that's a big drop!  Not sure if it would be just the kids that need protection.

    You could put trellis up along the wall with the wheel.  Potentially you could cap the other wall with flagstones and put trellis along there too.  

     

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,221

    Ah cost! And of course prickly plants will take time so much time to grow that your kids will be teenagers before they are doing their job properly.

    Need a fence cost a fortune? Ask around at farmers' suppliers for wire mesh stretched on poles. You could grow climbers up them.

  • natalie 4natalie 4 Posts: 21

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  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,739

    Certainly a problem natalie! A fence really is the best solution as waterbutts says, and could be removed at a later date, and you could mount it on top of the wall as FG said too, although if it has to go one stone topped part as well that would be difficult. What about putting a more informal, simple  fence using mesh? It would allow you to still see the wall just now but would provide a physical barrier for safety,and as you intend planting in front of it, it would disappear quite quickly as they establish. You can remove it more easily  than a solid fence as time goes on.

    The wall will disappear too of course if you plant in front of it! 

    to walk through a forest is to touch the past

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