Choosing Appropriate Mesh

​​​​​​There are a few important things to consider when you choose mesh for a wallaby fence:
  • Essentials of wallaby fence mesh and wire design
  • Advantages of choosing the best mesh design
  • Making that mesh work well
  • Consequences of using the wrong mesh

Good examples of effective ​mesh

picture of a wallaby fencec made out of strong steele mesh

Purchase mesh with enough steel to make it strong and rigid, so a moving wallaby or wombat will bounce off, and so a small wallaby can’t pass through gaps.

A well constructed wallaby fence with a secure footer/apron running along the ground to stop animals getting under the fence

A footer/apron, or a high powered, well maintained hot wire 125mm off the ground, are the two main options for stopping animals pushing or digging under the wire. You can combine the footer/apron with a hotwire. If this is the case the hotwire can be lifted to 200mm. This reduces shorts and maintenance needs.

photo of a well constructed wallaby fence with a footer/apron constructed with 11-90-15 mesh

11-90-15 mesh with a footer/apron. 11 x 2.5mm line wires over 90cm vertical mesh is the minimum. On easy, even ground the post spacing can be increased if you are using rigid robust mesh such as 11-90-15 with footer/apron.

image of wallaby fence without a footer/apron that shows evidence that wallabies have been inside the fence. The fence is still intact though and the knots of the mesh haven't slipped

11-90-15 mesh with 2.5 mm wire and square knot. You can see impacts from wallabies caught inside the fence but there is no slippage of the knots.

photograph of a wallaby fence with Bennett's Wallaby caught inside

In some circumstances Bennett’s wallaby can jump a 115cm high fence, like on a downhill slope. The majority can't jump a wallaby fence, as shown in this photo.

picture of approximately 20 bennet's wallaby stuck outside an effective wallaby proof fence

Large numbers of Bennett’s wallaby are shown in this photo not to be able to jump this 115 cm fence. The main species on King Island is Bennett's wallaby where a combination of fencing and shooting is reducing browsing significantly. 

A picture of a wallaby fence with hot wires 200mm high on both side of the fence

Footer/apron with hot wires both sides, 200mm from the ground and a very good energiser. With the wire at 200mm, and high voltage, spraying is less necessary and shorting is reduced. Incorporating the footer/apron allows the hot wires to be higher than the usual 125mm as wombats must spend more time finding a way through, and it is harder to avoid the hotwires.This fence is on FLinders Island with lots of wombats.

picture of a power energiser unit used to power fencing hot wires

Example of a high power energiser dedicated to 5km of wallaby fence with hot wires on both sides. Faults need to be located quickly or wildlife create more damage and shorts. Technology in modern units help locate shorts quickly. Solar units may not have sufficient power in winter.

image of a 400m roll of size 50cm clip on footer/apron

An image of 50cm clip-on footer in a 400m roll. Some people will use 30cm rabbit wire but this is cheaper and more robust.

picture of a wallaby fence where the apron/footer is created using the 50cm mesh shown as a roll in the image above

Example of how to use the 50cm wide clip on footer/apron. Half the clip-on footer/apron is on the ground to seal the mesh to the ground and the other half is used to reinforce an old fence with innapropriate mesh.

Bad examples of problematic ​​mesh

Picture of a wallaby fence constructed using the wrong wire. The knots in the wire have slipped which means animals can create gaps to squeaze through

Mesh made of light wire of only 1.9mm spreads under impact. These knots don't hold with the smaller diameter wire.

Picture of a wallaby fence with a footer/apronthat has a hole underneath which was dug by a wombat

A footer/apron is very effective for wallabies. But wombats can dig under a footer/apron if they find a weak spot. Often wombat holes are dug from inside the fence, like in this photo.

a picture of a wallaby fence where erosion has occured along the base. The was likey caused by continued weed suppression spraying

Hotwires close to the ground need constant maintenance like spraying. This is a lot of work and can create an erosion risk. Footer/aprons should not be sprayed as vegetation like grass holds the mesh down.

A picture a wallaby fence made from chicken wire

105cm rabbit netting with 15cm on ground as a footer. This method is both more expensive and less durable than wallaby mesh. It is also more difficult to construct, and may affect​ the movements of smaller mammals like bandicoots.

picture of a fence with barbed wire at the base instead of a footer/apron

Barbed wire at the base of the fence doesn’t stop wallabies going under. A footer/apron is more effective.

picture of a wallaby fence with mesh that has gaps too large to be effective. You can see tracks where wallabies are making their way through

8:80:15 size mesh, “Pig wire”, does not have enough steel/wire to be effective

picture of a wallaby fencec constructed with mesh that is too light and has collapsed after wallabys have jumped over and through the mesh

Light wire with hinge-lock can easily collapse

A mesh fence constructed with 8:80:15 mesh which clearly shaow a pandemelon path going straight through the mesh

Pademelon path through 8:80:15