Monday 30 June 2014

Top Tips To Keep Your Home Safe This Summer

summer holidays, home security
The peak summer getaway season is almost upon us. But whilst you and your family may be planning how to enjoy a blissful two weeks lapping up the sunshine, sadly there are undesirable characters at large who will be doing some planning of their own! Right now opportunist thieves are on the look out for vulnerable properties to break into whilst the owners are on holiday…

Summer Home Security

Here are our top tips on how to make sure your home is not an easy target for burglars when you are away:

  • A pile of yellowing newspapers on the doorstep is like a public advertisement advising that a home that's unoccupied. Stopping the newspaper (and milk) before you leave is an absolute must.
  • Invest in timers that turn on the interior lights for a few hours every evening. If you can get a neighbour to take out your rubbish and put the bins back after the rubbish is collected, it's another way of communicating that everything is proceeding normally at your house.
  • Put in place exterior lighting which is activated by motion detectors for the driveway and other areas around the house. If a light comes on when someone approaches, a burglar is less likely to make an attempt to enter – equally the lights going on will notify your neighbours of any unusual activity.
  • Always park your car in the garage with the garage door closed when you are there. That way anyone spying on your daily routine won't be aware that your car is missing when you do leave.
  • Gravel paths prevent a silent approach and might alert your neighbours to the arrival of any unplanned visitors to the property.
  • Thieves can hide behind trees and shrubs. Trim back or remove any shrubbery next to doors or windows. If you are going to use plants next to the house, consider thorny plants such as holly or roses. Cut back any branches that hang over the roof, and remove any lower branches from trees to prevent them from being used as a foothold / means to gain access to the property.
  • Hedges and shrubs in the front garden should be kept to a height of no more than 3' in order to avoid giving a burglar a screen behind which he can conceal himself.
  • Tidy away any garden tools when you are finished and store ladders securely – otherwise they could be put to use by criminals.
  • Security mark valuable items to make them less desirable to thieves. Marking them can also make it easier for them to be traced back to you if they are recovered after being lost or stolen.
  • A two metre fence should keep your house secure but many burglars are quite athletic so a fencing topper from Jacksons like Security Comb or High Tensile Barbed Wire can be used to provide an added deterrent.
  • A dedicated high security anti-climb fence like EuroGuard Combi from Jacksons, which combines the beauty of natural wood with the strength and security of steel is a good alternative to a fence with a topper.
  • With driveway gates, consider whether it is preferable to close off the view to your property from passers by (a thief can’t be tempted by what they can’t see) or to choose a design that allows visibility, for example if you live in an area with an active Neighbourhood Watch programme. Look for a sturdy, fully framed design fixed to substantial posts and integrated with fencing or walls. Jacksons ‘Courtyard’ gates are timber clad on both sides for good looks and feature a welded, galvanised steel frame, that is fixed to substantial steel posts.
  • If you have installed automated gates, make sure you have not left any wheelie bins or a similar item which can be used to try and scale the gate.
  • Finally, don’t have your home address showing on your luggage labels – you will simply be advertising the fact that your home is empty!
If you have found these tips useful, please share with your friends and family by clicking on the share buttons below.

photo credit: Highways Agency via photopin cc

Friday 27 June 2014

Hickstead Winner's Top Showjumping Tips

You may not be competing at Hickstead this week, but any keen showjumper will be interested in receiving tips from a rider who conquered the renowned Derby bank and went on to win the Hickstead Derby! Last year’s triumphant winner Phillip Miller, shares the following advice:

Showjumping Tips

  1. Flatwork is so important. I spend a lot of time schooling, working on the horse’s adjustability and balance. My top horses rarely jump at home.
  2. The horse must accept the leg aids. Even with a fizzy or excitable horse, they must accept some leg pressure — it acts as a support. If you go from no leg aid to too much as you approach take-off, the horse will overreact.
  3. A strong canter rhythm is the key to a good showjumping round.
  4. The canter should be adjustable. Ask the horse to go forward by allowing with the hand, then collect by sitting more upright through the upper body.
  5. If you find you lose impulsion or rhythm on the turns, try going into a showjumping canter and then riding a 12-15m circle, while maintaining the same pace. Work on turning with your leg and seat aids and not your reins.
  6. Try riding down the 3/4 line of the arena and make sure your horse stays straight _— straightness is a key component to riding a course.
  7. I use lots of v-poles when training, as it gets the horse to lift up through the shoulder and be neater in front.
  8. If your horse rushes, think of sitting up on the approach until the very last second. If you’re forward in your upper body position, it will encourage them to be quicker.
  9. If you’re coming down to a double or treble, don’t change the way you ride — think of every jump as being the only fence, and just ride to combinations as you would for a standard oxer or upright.
  10. Be consistent with your training. If they rush off after a fence, bring them back to a halt on a straight line. If they’re allowed to pull you around at home, they’ll do it at shows too.
Reproduced courtesy of Horse & Hound.

Find Jacksons Equestrian at Hickstead

Visit the Jacksons Equestrian stand (no 71, near the entrance to the members area) today, Friday 27th June at 2.30 pm to meet a hot contender for this year’s Hickstead Derby, Guy Williams. And for more top tips from professional riders, join the Jacksons Equestrian Club. Membership is free, you simply need to register on the Jacksons Equestrian website

Share your Hickstead highlights with us: leave a comment in the box below.

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Hickstead Here We Come...

What Jacksons Equestrian Are Up To At The Hickstead Derby 2014

    equestrian fencing
  • Sponsorship of Ring Five.
  • A Jacksons jump featured in Ring 5.
  • Sponsorship of one of the leading British showjumpers competing at the event, Guy Williams who is a founder member of the Jacksons Professional Rider Team.
  • New stand near the entrance to the members area (stand no 71) showcasing Jacksons’ Equestrian stables and fencing.
  • £500 prize draw on the Jacksons stand.

The Hickstead Derby meeting 2014 which starts tomorrow, bodes to be a busy event for the Jacksons Equestrian team, with the organizers confirming a record number of entries to one of the most famous fixtures in showjumping.

Come and wish Guy Williams the best of luck on Friday 27th June at 2.30pm, on the Jacksons' stand, as he prepares to take on the infamous Derby bank on Sunday …. And don’t forget to drop into the Jacksons stand to take part in our prize draw which runs throughout the show (25-29 June 2014).

For more information on Jacksons Equestrian visit

If you visit Hickstead this week, let us know what your highlights were using the comments below.

Monday 23 June 2014

Noise Nuisance No More!

garden fencing, noisy neighbours
Picture the scene, a stylish outdoor space, a table laden with a delicious spread, close friends and family quietly chatting and sipping a drink, in short a stunningly beautiful setting for a garden party. Tranquility and contentment reigns … until the calm is shattered by your noisy neighbours’ shouting accompanied by the excited barking of their anxious dog.

While summer represents the time we look forward to spending more time outside, it also highlights any noise issues affecting our homes. Whether it is noisy neighbours, heavy traffic or even the sound of machinery emanating from a DIY enthusiast’s garage, noise pollution can easily spoil the enjoyment to be derived from your garden.

Noisy Neighbours - the solution!

But before you put your house on the market there is a much simpler solution! Environmental noise barriers can literally turn the volume button down on any sound problems experienced in your property. Jakoustic from Jacksons not only provides an effective means of dealing with unwanted noise, it also provides an attractive security fence to deliver protection against any unwanted visitors.

So if noise is affecting your summer (or winter) don’t despair, invest in a new fence which can absorb or reflect the sound, and peace will soon be restored!

If you have a noise problem that spoils your enjoyment of your garden, tell us about it. Share below and we will give you give you some ideas to reduce it, or a least a sympathetic ear!

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Get Your Garden Ready For Summer

Finally summer is officially here and this is the time of year when every homeowner wants to make the most of their outdoor accommodation. Whether you choose to use your outdoor room for alfresco dining, as a safe space to keep the children occupied, as a secluded retreat for some well earned rest and relaxation – or more than likely a combination of all these, it’s worth checking your garden is ready for the predicted sizzling summer ahead!

Summer Garden Planner

pergola, garden, outdoor room

Be sun savvy

Much as we all love a bit of sunshine, there are obvious risks associated with spending too much time basking in the direct sun so you need to take steps to include a space in the garden that provides sanctuary from those damaging rays. You may be lucky enough to have a number of large trees capable of forming a shaded canopy but if not, here are some alternative shade solutions:

  • a carefully positioned pergola upon which you can train climbing plants. All Jacksons Pergola kits (available in single, double and corner formats) are crafted from Jakcured timber supported by a 25-year guarantee against rot and wood boring pests. Incorporate Trellis Panels in either square, lattice or diamond to complement the pergola and help train any featured climbers.
  • a dedicated structure such as the Jacksons Retreat Garden Shelter which as well as creating a cool and comfortable shelter, will also deliver a dramatic focal point for any garden setting.
  • a shade sail made from heavy duty fabric capable of providing effective UV protection.

fencing, gardens

Safe and secure play area

For children, the garden becomes the outdoor playroom during the summer so it is vital that they are kept safely contained whilst they are outside. Make sure all fencing posts and panels are intact and secure, and that there are no gaps / weaknesses in the fence line. Rotted posts represent a hazard to children since as soon as a fence becomes unstable; there is a risk of it falling, so seek out fencing products with a long lifetime guarantee. All Jacksons timber fencing is protected by the unique Jakcure timber treatment system which enables the company to offer a 25-year guarantee against rot.

Jacksons Timber Playtime fencing is RoSPA approved and was originally specifically designed for play areas in parks, recreation centres and schools, but it is also ideally suited to residential situations and as a perimeter fence in a family garden. Don’t forget that if you choose to install any climbing or play equipment in the garden it should really be sited on a dedicated play surface and definitely away from any concreted areas, walls, fences or large bushes. Trampolines should either be surrounded by a bespoke safety net or, for a more visually appealing solution, sunken into the ground.

Pool protocol

If the family garden includes a swimming pool, outdoor hot tub or even a pond, it is important that any access to water is carefully controlled, by including a strong boundary fence. The boundary must be sited a safe distance from the water so that if a child attempts to climb over, they will not fall from the fence directly into the water. Preference should be given to selecting a fence with an anti-climb design such as Palisade or Bow Top fencing.

Alfresco entertainment

If you plan to seriously party alfresco, it might be worth reviewing the benefits of attractive timber acoustic fencing to prevent any noisy neighbour complaints! Jacksons Jakoustic fencing has been proven to reduce noise levels by as much as 32 decibels.

What are your plans for your garden this summer? Do you have a project on the go? We would love to hear your gardening ideas and how you are creating outdoor living areas for your home. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Monday 16 June 2014

Product of the Month: Fencing Fashion Parade

Has the Chelsea Flower Show fired up your imagination on ways in which to inject a dash of designer flair into your own outdoor space? If so, installing a new fence can do wonders to create an instant style statement. Here we share some garden fencing ideas.

Garden Fencing Ideas

To many, the word FENCE equates to images of trusted featherboard panels. However without wishing to dismiss this classic genre of fencing, if you’re on the lookout for something with the wow factor, Jackson’s, the fencing experts, have a number of other stunning newcomers to consider …

Let there be light …

The ultra chic Venetian Fencing Panel has proved a massive hit with garden designers. The horizontal pales provide an ingenious solution to installing an effective and tasteful boundary, but not at the expense of reducing the amount of light filtering into the outdoor room.

fencing panel, garden fencing, fence

garden fencing, fencing panel, fence

Artisnal finesse

A thoroughly modern take on a traditional woven style of fencing, the Woven Fence Panel offers the benefit of amazing light and shade effects courtesy of the substantial woven slats. This is combined with the unique strength and privacy not usually associated with a semi- solid structure.
fencing panel, garden fencing, fence

Smart security

The beauty of natural wood joins forces with the inherent strength of steel in the EuroGuard Combi fence. Ideal if you need a fence which boasts good looks as well as added security benefits.

Designer chic

Classic palisade fence panels are given a designer makeover in the Palisade Paliframe Panel, which incorporates a decorative cut out feature that doubles as an effective way to allow additional sunlight to filter into the garden setting.

fencing panels, garden fencing, fence

fencing panels, garden fencing, fence

Love thy neighbour?

Whether it’s a sleek modern urban space or a cosy traditional English cottage garden, the Chilham Panel will always be warmly received by your neighbours as it dispenses with the need to choose who gets the best view of the fence! Interlocking grooved boards deliver a premium fence that requires no rails – so a smart panelled boundary can be enjoyed on both sides of the fence!

fencing panels, garden fencing, fence

Symmetrical style

The ‘hit and miss’ system which feature pales or boards fixed alternately on the front and back of the fence panel creates yet another neighbour friendly fencing offering, while the chevron design adds a splash of symmetrical elegance.

And remember in addition to its enviable style credentials, all Jacksons timber fencing has undergone the unique Jakcure timber treatment which provides a 25-year guarantee against rot and wood boring pests.

Visit for more details or visit one of our three fencing centres in Ashford, Chester or Bath.

If you have any questions about any of the above garden fencing ideas above, leave a message in the comments box below and we will get back to you.

Wednesday 11 June 2014

How Safe Is Your Automated Gate?

automated gate, garden security
Having an automated gate installed at your property is no longer a luxury extended to the affluent elite. Today, many home owners are interested in adding extra security measures which offer improved control over who gains access to the home, as well as helping to keep children / pets safely contained with the grounds. An additional benefit of automated gates can also include enhanced privacy and creating an effective screen from the outside world.

Automated Gates Safety Concerns

But while electric gates have become more popular, many homeowners remain oblivious to the potential dangers associated with them. An electric gate is a machine and as such, can represent a major safety hazard if the correct installation and maintenance procedures are not followed.

gate safe, automated gates
Unlike other trades, there is currently no formal professional qualification which must be passed before a tradesperson can practice as an installer. As a result, there are a number of installers in the field, who are actively promoting themselves as automated gate professionals but who lack the relevant competence, expertise and experience to deliver a safe and compliant gate. You wouldn’t dream of asking an unqualified mechanic to service your car so why would you not employ the same logic when looking for someone to install or service your gate? Three children have been crushed and killed by unsafe automated gates and many others have been injured. The charity Gate Safe (founded by Jacksons) promotes improved standards in safety for automated gates and has launched a dedicated training course for installers (accredited by the world’s biggest professional health and safety membership organization, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health). So now it is possible to source a Gate Safe Aware installer that has taken and passed the specialist training to deliver a safe automated gate. Gate Safe Aware installers can be found via the Gate Safe website

Tips before installing your next automated gate:

· Beware of automated gate kits which make it possible to transform a regular gate into an electric machine. All too often, the suppliers of these kits have little or no installation experience and consequently, no specialist advice or guidance is issued when the item is purchased.
CE marking

·Make sure your gate is CE Marked – any gate failing to display a CE marking may possibly still be safe but it is not legal.

· All automated gates should be installed with a minimum of two types of safety feature, Gate Safe recommends that photo cells (often referred to as magic eyes that stop the gate closing on a person or a vehicle) and safety edges (fitted to protect the various trap points on a gate and when activated, stop the gate and causes it to reverse a short way) are included on all automated gates

· Regularly review the physical environment in which the gate is operating. For example, if the photocells become cluttered by litter or even snow, remember this means the safety of the gate will be compromised, although in most cases if a photocell is blocked the gate simply won’t operate

· Ensure that the gate undergoes regular maintenance inspections – a minimum of every six months

· Don’t forget to be assured by your installer that the core mechanical functionality of the gate is sound. Last year two deaths occurred as a result of heavy gates falling on top of a victim but this was not due to a failure to install the relevant safety features. Sadly the incidents were caused by an acute malfunction of the gate itself and a lacking in the basic understanding of the forces acting on the gate

To request an audit for a new / existing gate from Gate Safe Aware Installers Jacksons Fencing, visit or telephone 01233 750 393.

For more information on the Gate Safe campaign, visit or call 01233 750 620.

Gate Safe is supported by RoSPA and Secured by Design.

If you have any questions about installing an automated gate, please use the comments box below. If you family members or your neighbours are looking to install electric gates, perhaps you could share this post with them.

Monday 9 June 2014

Do You Have A Pet Friendly Garden?

It’s not just the two legged inhabitants of the home that are likely to enjoy time in the garden this summer, the garden also represents a natural paradise for pets during the warmer months. But is your garden pet friendly?

Dog Safe Fencing

dog friendly gardenThe most important consideration for any garden which is likely to home pets, particularly dogs, is to make sure that it’s securely fenced in. Relying on existing planting or dilapidated fencing is simply a challenge to most four legged friends, who given half the chance, will find a way out of anything less than a 100% dog proof.

A design featuring closely fitted panels such as Featherboard or Tongue and Groove will obviously create a dense barrier, which even the most mischievous mutt would find hard to penetrate but not all properties will suit this style of fencing. Classic Palisade picket fencing is a highly popular choice for a garden setting but be sure to check that there is no room for any pets to dig their way out from under the bottom of the pales. A more open design such as Jaktop or post and rail will require additional wire stock fencing at the base to prevent any attempted escapes. Be aware that fencing which still provides a view into the garden can sometimes draw attention to valuable items – including pets – which the opportunist thief might consider as easy pickings.

Secure Garden Gates

There is no point having a robust fence installed around your garden if the entry gates into the premises are not secure. Make sure that the hinges and bolts are working properly – a gate which has come away from its hinges or that has dropped making it difficult to close can easily offer an exit route for pets. Rust can cause the gate fittings to no longer function efficiently so always choose a gate with galvanized bolts and hinges.

Any fencing or gate which is prone to rotting will compromise the safety of the garden so always seek out products which are supported by a long life time guarantee. The unique Jakcure timber treatment process from Jacksons offers a 25-year guarantee against rot and wood boring pests, representing peace of mind that your fencing investment is safe and also delivering a maintenance-free fencing solution.

Sanctuary From The Sun

Pets like children, require access to shade in the garden to avoid over-heating. If your garden does not benefit from natural shade supplied by trees and hedges you should consider installing some kind of shelter from the sun to keep animals comfortable. There are plenty of choices ranging from giant sails to bespoke buildings such as the Jacksons Retreat. And if installing an actual shelter seems extravagant, don’t forget, the provision of shade will always be a necessity for all household members, not just the pets!

Planting Protocol

There are a number of plant species which are highly dangerous to animals and these are to be avoided in the garden at all costs. These include daffodil bulbs, deadly nightshade, narcissus bulbs and umbrella plant. Visit The Dogs Trust for more details. Some species of plant regularly used to create a hedge which acts as an effective boundary are also included in the list of ‘toxic’ plants. Pet owners are therefore encouraged to opt for a suitable strong fence which represents a more responsible (and lower maintenance) choice.

For more information on Jacksons Fencing visit our website.

Have you got an innovative idea for making your garden pet friendly? Do you think it's possible to have a pet safe garden that's also a haven for humans too? Please share your ideas and thoughts using the comments below.

photo credit: tjuel via photopin cc

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Jackson's Event Round Up

It’s been a busy start to the Spring / Summer programme and the sales and marketing team has been working flat out to keep the Jacksons flag flying at a number of high profile events over the last couple of months.

Agricultural Events

First up was the Agri-Expo at the Kent County Showground which took place at the beginning of March. Organised by our good friends R.A.M.S.A.K (Ring of Agricultural Machinery for Sussex & Kent) and the K.C.A.S. (Kent County Agricultural Society) this provided a perfect opportunity to remind visitors to the show of Jacksons’ heritage and expertise within the agricultural community.

Equestrian Events

Chilham Castle Horse Trials near Canterbury followed, running Saturday 26th and Sunday 28th April and attracting over 600 competitors. Set in the 350 acre of historic parkland in the heart of Kent the event proved a success despite the patchy weather. Jacksons Equestrian sponsored a jump on the course and also showcased the quality stables / field shelters which now feature within the Jacksons portfolio.

Sticking with the equestrian theme, 14-18th May saw Jacksons Equestrian make its first ‘royal’ engagement, exhibiting at the Royal Windsor Horse Show which took place in the stunning grounds of Windsor Castle. The show provided the ideal launch platform for the Jacksons Equestrian Club, which provides members with exclusive access to ‘how-to’ training videos from the Jacksons Professional Rider Team. Joining us at the event was international dressage rider Hannah Biggs and Paralympic dressage rider Natasha Baker OBE also stopped by …

The Jacksons team then travelled hot foot from Windsor to keep its annual appointment at the Heathfield & District Agricultural Show in Sussex, which took place on the 24th May.

fencing, equestrian

Next up was a show of support for our Chester and Bath fencing centres that saw Jacksons exhibit at the Staffordshire County Show (28/29th May) and the Royal Bath & West Show (28th -31st May).

Show Gardens Open Day

Finally, the 31st May marked the fifth consecutive official Show Gardens Open Day at Jackson's Stowting headquarters. Visitors flocked to our very own mini Chelsea Flower Show to admire the seven beautiful show gardens which represent the work of garden designers from all over the country. To add to the day’s celebrations, the event also featured a ‘best of Kent’ farmers market.

Were you at any of the events above? Let us know how much you enjoyed them, or if you were competing, how well you did. Use the comments below.

Monday 2 June 2014

Get Your Beer Garden Ready For The World Cup!

smoking shelters, beer gardens
All too often beer gardens don’t feel like a garden at all, and are frequently just used as a convenient smoking area. With the World Cup just around the corner and the promise of good weather – here are a few ideas to create a great atmosphere in your pub garden to help your customers chill out while soaking up the sun, and the beautiful game!

Creative Seating in Your Beer Garden

Raised beds represent an ideal way to create additional seating in addition to any conventional picnic benches, but with no sacrifice on space.  Incorporate plenty of bright flowers to inject a burst of colour and help create a genuine garden scene.

Fencing for Privacy and Noise Reduction

acoustic fencing
If you plan to use the pub’s garden to provide an opportunity to watch the games on an outdoor screen, you may want to consider acoustic fencing. With many matches scheduled to take place late at night just when the pub is packed with cheering fans, your neighbours will certainly thank you if you do have an acoustic fence! Our Jakoustic acoustic fencing works by eliminating any gaps in the fence that sound could potentially travel through, creating an effective sound barrier.

Smoking shelters

smoking shelter, beer garden
With the pundits suggesting temperatures are set to soar, creating a dry and shaded area for your customers is a must! If you are intending to install a smoking shelter always remember to speak to your local planning authority first. Our Zone and Retreat shelters conform to the smoking legislation as they are not “wholly or substantially enclosed” but in addition to this, their stylish, contemporary design ensures they also double as a stunning focal point for the garden.

Decking: a great solution for busy pub gardens

Decking will enhance any outside area and prevent muddy walkways if the weather is not what we want, creating a low maintenance and easy to clean solution to your alfresco dining / drinking needs. For a busy pub garden opt for heavy duty decking  which is specially designed to cater for higher footfall  - destined to increase during the World Cup season!

With just over a week before the World Cup kicks off, you've just got time to get your beer garden into shape.

If you're a pub landlord or pub manager what are you planning for the World Cup? We would love to hear how you're preparing for this feast of football, so share your gardening ideas below.